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SC Commissioner Weathers: 2022 Sonoco FRESH Summit

Commissioner Hugh Weathers recently spoke at the Sonoco FRESH 2022 Food, Packaging & Sustainability Summit and is here to talk about what he and his staff learned.

Sonoco FRESH (that’s Food Research Excellence for Safety & Health) is a Clemson University institute that supports research to improve the safety, security and sustainability of food.

The yearly FRESH Summit looks at hot topics and innovations in food packaging and sustainability – a dynamic part of the agribusiness world.

Several staff members from SCDA attended events and talks at the Summit:

  • They got to tour Clemson’s Recycling Facilities. One facility takes the university’s food waste, yard waste and other fiber-based materials and turns them into a soil amendment-quality compost that can be repurposed and resold under the Clemson Compost brand.
  • They also toured Clemson’s Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences Department and labs to take a look at innovations in packaging to improve shelf life.
  • Several panels looked at food packaging engineering and design.
  • One panel focused on food waste and what can be done to address it from packaging to consumer education.
  • The event ended with a keynote presentation about how Disney is working toward its 2030 Environmental Goals to reduce food waste and improve energy efficiency.

I had the honor of being the speaker at the Farm to Fork Dinner Highlighting Sustainability in South Carolina.

In my talk, I focused on something I’ve talked about before on this program, actually – GreenGasUSA’s work to capture agricultural methane from South Carolina agribusinesses and convert it into renewable natural gas. A great example of sustainability. 

We are pleased to partner with Sonoco FRESH and Clemson on this annual summit. It’s always exciting to see what’s new.