Dr. Chris Mallett

Retired, Corporate Vice President, Research and Development

Cargill, Inc.

Chris Mallett was named Corporate Vice President of Cargill Research & Development in January 2005 and led all R&D resources across Cargill. Prior to joining Cargill, Mallett was the foundational Senior Vice President of R&D and CTO of the dairy multinational Fonterra in New Zealand. Before his role at Fonterra, he led the food and agribusiness activities at CSIRO Australia, the nation’s premier science agency, where he served successively as chief of division, executive vice president, and deputy CEO. He had previously held various leadership positions in R&D in the European edible oils and frozen food business of Unilever, the consumer goods multinational, which he had joined in 1982 after an academic career in Austria and Australia. He has also served as a Director on many Boards and Advisory Boards in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the US. He is currently Treasurer and a member of the Board of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research, which was authorized by Congress as part of the 2014 Farm Bill to leverage public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to boosting America’s agricultural economy. He was elected fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 1999, and was awarded a 2000 Centenary Medal of Australia for contribution to Australia’s R&D. Mallett, who is a Manxman, received his Bachelor, Master and D.Phil degrees in chemistry from Oxford University. He is married with three adult children.

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Overcoming Water Scarcity

Overcoming Water Scarcity

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Agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Overcoming Water Scarcity Challenge Area addressed water use efficiency in agriculture by developing water conservation and reuse technologies, improving crop and livestock breeds, creating improved agronomic practices, increasing the social and economic tractability of conservation practices and enhancing the efficacy of Extension services.

FFAR’s Sustainable Water Management Challenge Area builds on earlier work to increase water availability and water efficiency for agricultural use, reduces agricultural water pollution and develops water reuse technologies.

Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms

Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms

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FFAR’s 2016-2018 Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms Challenge Area increased soil health by building knowledge, fueling innovation, and enabling adoption of existing or new innovative practices that improve soil health.

The Soil Health Challenge Area advances existing research and identifies linkages between farm productivity and soil health, while also addressing barriers to the adoption of soil health practices.

Protein Challenge

Protein Challenge

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FFAR’s 2016-2018 Protein Challenge Area sought to improve the environmental, economic and social sustainability of diverse proteins.

The Advance Animal Systems challenge area supports sustainable animal production through environmentally sound productions practices and advancement in animal health and welfare. Additionally, the Next Generation Crops Challenge Area develops non-traditional crops, including plant-based proteins, and creates new economic opportunities for conventional crops to increase future crop diversity and farm profitability.

Food Waste and Loss

Food Waste and Loss

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About 40 percent of food in the US, or $161 billion each year, is lost or wasted. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Food and Waste Loss Challenge Area addressed the social, economic and environmental impacts from food waste and loss through research that developed of novel uses for agricultural waste, improved storage and distribution, supported tracking and monitoring, minimized spoilage through pre- and post-harvest innovations and changed behaviors to reduce food waste

FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area addresses food waste and loss and supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.

Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability

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Supporting innovation is necessary for sustainable results. Over the last 50 years, farmers have tripled global food production thanks to agricultural innovations. Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability was a 2016-2018 Challenge Area that focused on understanding the barriers and processes that prevented the adoption of technology and research results into sustainable practices.

Urban Food Systems

Urban Food Systems

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The 2016-2018 Urban Food Systems Challenge Area addressed feeding urban populations through urban and peri-urban agriculture and augmenting the capabilities of our current food system.

The Urban Food Systems Challenge Area continues this work and enhances our ability to feed urban populations.

Making My Plate Your Plate

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FFAR’s 2016-2018 Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area focused on helping Americans meet the USDA 2015 Dietary Guideline recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption, including research to both produce and provide access to nutritious fruits and vegetables.

FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.