UC Berkeley conducted its first customized program for Costco Wholesale, bringing together office representatives and executives from Costco Wholesale’s Northern California Regional Office with environmental specialists to delve into the science and policy of organic agriculture.
“This investment in education demonstrates Costco’s commitment to organic and sustainable consumer goods”,“The partnership presents an opportunity for collaboration across many disciplines and a mechanism for dissemination of ideas and innovations on a global scale”, said Dr. Thomas Azwell of Environmental Science, Policy and Management Department.
Dr. Azwell has been a science advisor to Costco for the past eight years, and was also the leader in designing this specialized program at UC Berkeley. The College of Natural Resources hosted these half day sessions on topics ranging from California organic agriculture and certification to diversified farming and transgenic crops.
“Because of the volume they deal with, Costco’s decisions impact much more than just the agriculture and food industry of California” said Dr. Mio Katayama Owens, International and Executive Program director.
As its first collaboration project with Costco, UC Berkeley will support Costco in making informed decisions on organic foods and sustainability in operations around the world.
Feedback about the program was overwhelmingly positive, as participants lauded the eye-opening nature of discussions and praised the inspirational new thinking and ideas from the UC Berkeley faculty.