First Choice

Rich Family Foundation Partners with Cornell In New Global Food Safety Research Lab

Ensuring that populations all over the planet have a safe food supply is critical.  And for a worldwide food company such as Rich Products Corporation, promoting high-level research that will keep the global food supply safe for generations to come directly supports its values to be the trusted first choice and to deliver cutting-edge innovation.

One hotbed for such research is Cornell University, recognized as a global leader in using systematic approaches to maintaining food safety.  That’s why Rich Family Foundation – a philanthropic arm of Rich Products – recently cemented a new partnership with Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, also known as CALS, that is intended to further the development of a safe and sustainable global food supply, through research and education.

This spring, Rich Family Foundation and CALS officially opened the Rich’s Food Safety Lab on the Ivy League school’s campus in Ithaca, New York.  The facility equips Cornell with a new home for conducting vital food safety research, while tutoring the next wave of food safety leaders.  The lab, which will be used by a number of different faculty and their research groups, will provide for the development of unique molecular biology and classical microbiology technologies and processes that address food safety issues along the entire supply chain.  It is hoped that creation of the lab – with its unique environment for interdisciplinary activity – will significantly influence the future of the food industry and propel innovation in the safe production, handling and distribution of the world’s food supply.

Rich Family Foundation has pledged $250,000 to the Rich’s Food Safety Lab, which was officially unveiled April 29 by Kathryn J. Boor, Dean of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Kevin Malchoff, a Director of Rich Products Corporation (and the 2004 recipient of the CALS Outstanding Alumni Award); and Kristin Alongi, Rich’s Director of Portfolio and Governance.  They were joined by food safety and food science faculty from Cornell, as well as by students who will carry out research in the facility.

“The Rich’s Food Safety Lab gives Cornell a new, state-of-the-art platform for its groundbreaking food safety research,” said Bob Rich Jr., Chairman of both Rich Family Foundation and Rich Products Corporation.  “In addition, the lab will serve as a facility for training the next generation of food safety professionals to lead our industry, share their expertise, and collaborate with manufacturers like Rich’s and also with our customers, to protect the safety and availability of the global food supply.”

In partnership with Rich’s and other industry and governmental agencies, scientists at CALS work on strengthening and securing food and energy systems through the development of innovative and sustainable ways to feed the growing populace, while also satisfying our increasing energy demands.  CALS is one of the premier colleges of its kind in the world and is guided by the principle of creating and disseminating “knowledge with public purpose.”  It is home to 15 academic departments and two schools – the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the School of Integrative Plant Science.  The college offers 22 majors and 31 minors in the agricultural, biological, physical, and social sciences.

“Rich Products Corporation’s gift of this lab to Cornell University is a physical embodiment of the powerful partnership our two Upstate New York institutions have established,” Boor said.  “This generosity by Rich’s will allow Cornell to build on its legacy of leadership in food safety, while facilitating interdisciplinary, collaborative efforts – using state-of-the-art technologies – that will help ensure a safe and wholesome global food supply.”

Bob Rich said Rich’s will leverage the expertise, knowledge and technologies generated by the new Cornell lab in its businesses around the world, sharing the food storage, handling and preparation research coming out of the facility with the company’s customers.  “The trusted partnerships we have with our customers represent a critical link in a safe, reliable food chain,” Rich pointed out.  “The Rich’s Food Safety Lab will further strengthen those relationships.”