CIFS provides a forum for networking and collaboration between industrial research scientists, business leaders, and Cornell faculty. We are pleased to highlight some of the collaborations between Cornell and our industry partners that have resulted.

Current Industry Initiatives

The Baby Food Council

The Baby Food Council is a group of infant and toddler food companies, supported by key stakeholders, seeking to reduce heavy metals in the companies’ products to as low as reasonably achievable using best-in-class management practices.  The Council was created in January 2019 in partnership with Cornell University and the Environmental Defense Fund.  All companies that source ingredients, manage the upstream supply chain, and nationally market foods for children six to 24 months of age in the United States are welcome to participate in the Council.

The Baby Food Council’s members are Cornell University, Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, The Hain Celestial Group (Earth’s Best), Gerber Products Company, Danone (Happy Family Organics), Environmental Defense Fund, and Heathy Babies Bright Futures. Technical advisors are the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Food and Drug Administration, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Professor Rui Hai Liu serves as Cornell’s scientific representative on the Baby Food Council, with CIFS-IPP providing organizational support.

Current Industry Initiatives

Professional Food Buyer Course

The Professional Food Buyer Course was created in response to consumer interest in specialty foods, such as organic, fair trade, and gluten-free products.  The intensive interactive online course delivered by Cornell Food Science faculty and staff at the Cornell Institute for Food Systems via the eCornell online platform is intended for professionals who are – or wish to be—buyers of specialty foods. Incorporating videos, slide presentations, knowledge checks, downloadable resources, and reflection exercises, the course is designed to be fun and engaging.

The course was the first in eCornell’s nearly 20-year history to be developed with an industry partner - the Specialty Food Association (SFA).  Course participants have the opportunity to earn a certificate from the Specialty Food Association and Cornell University attesting to their professional knowledge as a specialty food buyer, including a better understanding and appreciation for the key principles and best practices associated with supply chain management, strategic partnerships, strategic sourcing, and product success in the food industry


Please contact ra283 [at] (Rajni Aneja) to discuss custom food systems learning opportunities, including new online professional certificate courses delivered via the eCornell platform.

A laptop displaying the SFA Professional Food Buyer Certificate Program