FZMR17-Sustainable Supply Systems: Part 1 - Production to Processing

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 5 [2.5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: APMA107 What is sustainability?
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Emma Bennett

Email: e.j.bennett@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Delivered as an intensive campus based workshop of 3 consecutive days of seminars, tutorials and practical sessions delivered by academic members of teaching and research staff from the department of Food & Nutritional Sciences and the wider University of Reading and invited experts in the field from across academia and industry. This module addresses sustainability issues associated with crop and animal production, covering both intensive and organic production methods and focused on food supply chains with end users in the UK. It then moves on to consider supply chain and quality constraints as the product enters further processing.


The module aims to take the knowledge obtained from the prerequisite ‘What is Sustainability?’ module and apply it to the first part of the food supply chain that encompasses a range of commodities and production methods. Students will develop the knowledge and skills to critically appraise the complexity of issues surrounding sustainable crop and livestock production and to appreciate the variation in quality standards that exists between different supply chains and commodities. The module will consider the scientific basis behind sustainability guidelines and the challenges that exist in balancing ecological, social and commercial demands.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, learners should be able to:

•    Discuss the issues facing sustainable production and processing of a variety of commodities 

•    Critically appraise different types of food supply chains in the context of sustainability

•    Evaluate new technological and methodological approaches to production of livestock and crops 

•    Understand the demands placed upon producers by those further along the food supply chain and appreciate why quality standards and criteria are imposed. 

•    Discuss the potential for implementing more sustainable practices during raw material processing 


Additional outcomes:

The following transferable skills will be developed in this module:

•    Critical evaluation of data from a variety of sources

•    Effective communication of scientific information in oral and written format with scientific rigour

•    Debating skills


Outline content:

The workshop is divided into three days, each with a distinctive theme: supply chain management, crops and ecosystems, livestock production and processing. Students will hear from experts in each field and topics will cover different farming production methods, environmental protection, new developments in farming that address sustainability, and how current research is informing sustainable practice. Talks are accompanied by site visits, debates and interactive activities.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This module will be delivered via a 3-day intensive on campus workshop that will include 20 hours of academic-led seminars and group discussions supported by expert outside speakers and 10 hours of independent learning and group work. The final assignment, which seeks to apply the learning to the participant’s business situation, accounts for 20 hours of student time.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study 30
Total hours by term 50.00
Total hours for module 50.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 80
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Other information on summative assessment:

Written Report

Using appropriate reference sources, discuss the key challenges of sustainably producing a named crop or animal for food and justify your recommendations for an ideal production system (2000-2500 words). For submission within 8 weeks of the completion of the course - 80%

Oral assessment and presentation (as a video recording)

A 10-minute presentation, ideally of one actually given within the student’s business, critically evaluating an aspect of sustainable production or processing that is relevant to the organisation.

The presentation will be done at distance using screen capture technology to be submitted as a recorded screencast.  For Submission within 10 weeks of completion of the course - 20%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall in all assessed work.

Reassessment arrangements:

In the event of a student failing the module they will be reassessed based on resubmission of failed coursework assignments or equivalent pieces of work.  Module marks are capped at 50% for passes at 2nd attempt.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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