FALL 2004 UMASS Amherst
Operations Research / Management Science Seminar Series

Date: Friday, October 29, 2004
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Isenberg School of Management, Room 128

Speaker: Professor Julie A. Caswell
College of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Biography: Julie A. Caswell is a Professor at the College of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her work focuses on understanding the operation of domestic and international food systems, analyzing how well they work, and evaluating how government policy affects their operation and performance. Her particular interest is in the economics of food quality, especially the quality attributes of safety and nutrition. How are markets for food safety and nutrition developing given increased consumer demand for safer, more nutritious products; manufacturers and retailers' efforts to meet this demand; and increased regulatory activity by national governments to assure food quality? She is also interested in the economics of certification, traceability, and labeling for process attributes such as organic production and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Examples of her work include how mandatory nutrition labeling is affecting markets for food products; whether regulatory programs such as Hazard Analysis at Critical Control Points (HACCP) will enhance food safety at a reasonable cost; and how international trade agreements influence food quality. A related interest is structure and strategies in the food system. An example is how closer coordination of activities between food producers, processors, and retailers, along with fewer, large firms operating at each level in the chain of distribution, is affecting food prices and choices available to consumers. See

TITLE: What is the Most Effective Way to Produce Food Safety?

Abstract: Companies make decisions about how much food safety to produce based on market and regulatory incentives. Governments make decisions about how to regulate food safety production based on public health, analysis of benefits and costs, and political considerations. What kind of Information is needed to make better risk management choices? The Food Safety Research Consortium is working on this question. Here I will give a guided tour of the types of predictive modeling and economic analysis we are developing to improve the management of microbial risks to public health from food products.
This series is organized by the UMASS Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter. Support for this series is provided by the Isenberg School of Management, the Department of Finance and Operations Management, and the John F. Smith Memorial Fund.

For questions, please contact the INFORMS Student Chapter President, Ms. Tina Wakolbinger, wakolbinger@som.umass.edu