Integrated Consulting Services

Enhanced Exchange provides a comprehensive array of food-and farm-based advisory services and development initiatives to government agencies, colleges, foundations, trade associations, non-profit community organizations, plus private-sector corporations, along with investment groups.

Soil and Water

Resource Inventory and Geospatial Mapping

Comprehensive information on soil resources in terms of type, extent, physical and chemical properties and limitations/capabilities is required for optimal management of land resources and monitoring changes in land qualities. The technological advancements in the remote sensing have revolutionized the land resource inventory and mapping process. Technology will be employed to “layer’ maps producing a comprehensive picture of the production resource. Also, soil sampling will be performed to refine available soil/topography maps to create forecasts of production potential at a refined geospatial level allowing detailed holistic planning and management of the resource.

Projection of Temporal and Geospatial Plant Stress Patterns

Detecting and mapping plant stress can allow our scientists and conservationists to see what vegetated areas are vulnerable to forest fires and other hazards caused by nature. Our scientists can detect plant stress before the plant shows physical damage, at which point it may be too late to save them. Periodic infrared and multispectral photographs of crops during development will be overlaid with other geospatial maps to assess plant development and gain real-time understanding of areas requiring inputs. Through this process, disease/parasite infestations can be detected in time to prevent large-scale crop damage.   

Instrumentation and Equipment for Geospatial Management

We support our customers in the implementation of geospatial management systems to capture, store, analyze and manage geographic data and associated attributes which are spatially referenced to the earth. Irrigation scheduling will be accomplished through computation of plant potential evapotranspiration (PET) for each microenvironment of production fields. These computations will require continuous monitoring of field conditions with strategically placed weather stations. Electronic gauges will be employed for real-time monitoring of soil fertility so that fertilization can be designed to meet plant needs.  

Conservation Planning for Sustainability and Ecosystem Health

Conservation planning encompasses all the natural resources, such as land, water, air, minerals, forests, fisheries, and wild flora and fauna, and human considerations and allows us to understand how people and natural landscapes interact. A good planning is key to provide better quality to human life. Consequently, considerable effort must be devoted to the planning, measurement and evaluation, steering and control as well as optimization and communication processes of the holistically defined corporate value creation. Electronic soil monitoring for fertility and moisture and computation of PET to be utilized in strategic fertilization and irrigation of each microclimate will assure that plants are adequately “fed” but also that over-fertilization/irrigation can be prevented reducing ecological damage, conserving resources, increasing efficiency and therefore profitability.

Holistic Resource Integration to Achieve Corporate Goals

In order to successfully achieve sustainable corporate development, enterprises must define and implement a pragmatic strategy. In that pursuit, the discussion of motivation and reasoning behind incorporating sustainability strategies serves as a prelude to the thematic examination of challenges and courses of action in corporate strategy development and implementation. Especially in the context of sustainability, additional legislative and stakeholder requirement considerations make managing these tasks effectively, however, much more challenging. A solution for enterprise sustainability management and its evaluation is therefore necessary for ultimately balancing economic, ecological and social performance factors, to ensure optimized decision-making. Production inputs will be orchestrated through application of geospatial based models adapted to local conditions through feedback loops with phased grading-up procedures tweaking underlying mechanistic fundamentals so that the models realistically fit emerging conditions.

Plant

Identification of Adapted Germplasm

Billions of dollars and crops are being lost to drying high moisture grain; drought, cold, and salt susceptibility; and to processing poor quality grain. Maize is a model crop for adaptation to climate changes. Breeding for adaptation is best done under challenging environmental conditions where strengths and weaknesses are quickly identified, and most stable genotypes are selected.

Our research team designs strategies to deploy germplasm that are better adapted to future climate changes and that contribute to increased food security. A primary tenet in production agriculture is “don’t fight mother nature”. Or, put another way, allow nature to work for you; don’t become an adversary. A fundamental tool in this regard is genetic adaptation. Our goal in food production is to ameliorate, as much as is feasible, stresses environments afford plants and animals through the methods listed herein. Then, to fit to these environments, plants and animals genetically adapted to the residue stress that we cannot economically afford to ameliorate. The trade-offs involved in this endeavor is to identify plant and animal genetics adapted to specific environments but that can also produce the food products the targeted markets desire.

Optimization of Cropping Patterns

The vulnerability of the agricultural sector to climate changes has driven many countries to set up programs and policies heading towards maximizing the utilization of its limited resources, mainly, the irrigation water supply and arable land, to produce high value crops such as fruits and vegetables.

Our scientists use various modelling approaches to help our customers optimize their cropping patterns. Profitable cropping patterns for each farm are likely to be different depending on the character of the fundamental resource (soil and water), the interaction of local weather/climate conditions with these fundamental resources to produce habitat stress patterns for plants and animals, the seasonal capacity to manage these stresses providing consideration for potential catastrophic events, and the ability to bring to bear plant and animal genotypes capable of both managing residue stresses and producing foods characterized as desirable for targeted markets. All these variables must be considered in developing optimum cropping patterns for each locale.   

Strategic Amelioration of Stress Patterns

Plants live in constantly changing environments that are often unfavorable or stressful for growth and development. These adverse environmental conditions include biotic stress, such as pathogen infection and herbivore attack, and abiotic stress, such as drought, heat, cold, nutrient deficiency, and excess of salt or toxic metals like aluminum, arsenate, and cadmium in the soil. Drought, salt, and temperature stresses are major environmental factors that affect the geographical distribution of plants in nature, limit plant productivity in agriculture, and threaten food security. Improving plant stress resistance is critical for agricultural productivity and for environmental sustainability because crops with poor stress resistance consume too much water and fertilizers and thus greatly burden the environment. The difficulty in strategic amelioration of stress patterns for plants and animals is that many production environments are highly dynamic. For example, in many semi-arid environments, the mean and median rainfall are not the same. That is, the rainfall patterns are skewed to the dry side with more years having less than “normal” rainfall than years having greater than long-term average. Therefore, management for amelioration of stress patterns in these environments is complicated by the fact that stress patterns change from year to year. Therefore, our team considers this amelioration to include, not only amelioration for stresses “usually” afforded by each production environment but also for catastrophic events that periodically and unpredictably occur.

Organic and Natural Food Production

In organic farming, organic fertilizers and manures like compost, vermicompost, cow dung manure, etc. are used and added to farmlands from external sources. In natural farming, neither chemical nor organic fertilizers are added to the soil.

Organic and Natural crop production are holistic systems designed to optimize the productivity and fitness of diverse communities within the agro-ecosystem, including soil organisms, plants, livestock and people. The principal goal of organic and natural crop production is to develop enterprises that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment. The tools available to accomplish the aspects of production discussed herein concerning integrated food production are reduced. In organic and natural food production However, the fundamental principle stated herein is the primary rule we live by. That is, we must innovatively create harmony in nature, bending her to our purposes of producing designer foods for discerning markets.

Market Analysis and Projections

Our Market research analysis and projection techniques comprise of both analytical as well as statistical research methods adapted to harness and interpret information in a systematic way.

Enhanced Exchange has established strategic partnerships with key data providers and has access to a large amount of data about Plants worldwide. One cannot design production systems to produce to “design” foods, unless the market desires are understood. Therefore, Also, to state the problem starkly, there is no need to grow food that no one wants to eat. In order to understand the market, our team works in a personal manner with those in the food industry on the front lines of the battle, the food providers (food service and grocers) who confront daily the issue of customer satisfaction or grievance. Our team works to translate perceived desires (complaints) into food specifications “designed” to satisfy market desires and then to determine critical control points requiring alteration to assure the products consistently meet these specifications.   

Animal

Identification of Adapted Germplasm

Germplasm are living genetic resources such as seeds or tissues that are maintained for the purpose of animal and plant breeding, preservation, and other research uses. These resources may take the form of seed collections stored in seed banks, trees growing in nurseries, animal breeding lines maintained in animal breeding programs or gene banks, etc. Germplasm collections can range from collections of wild species to elite, domesticated breeding lines that have undergone extensive human selection. Germplasm collection is important for the maintenance of biological diversity and food security.

Our research team designs strategies to deploy germplasm that are better adapted to future climate changes and that contribute to increased food security. Current trends in food production (e.g. the coronavirus pandemic) will require shortening the food delivery supply chain. For animals, this means production in stressful environments (e.g. the tropics and subtropics). Therefore, it is of penultimate importance that production be based on animals adapted to these harsh environments. Thus, our team has expended considerable effort to catalogue animal breeds/phenotypes adapted to these environments yet produce meats desired by targeted markets and can array these genotypes to appropriate environments so that the bottom-line is that the producer can bend nature to specific production needs.

Nutritional Management

Almost all domesticated animals rely on their caretakers to maintain their health and well-being, to provide appropriate nutrition, and to meet behavioral needs and any special physiologic requirements. The success of proper management and nutrition is especially important to agricultural species that must sustain growth and production. Genetic advancement has led to continual increases in productivity that place similar continual pressure on animal husbandry management to ensure it does not limit animal health, well-being, or productivity.

Proper management and nutrition are also central to the prevention and control of infectious and noninfectious diseases. As stated in the previous paragraph, a fundamental food animal production consideration is fitting adapted germplasm to environments of known stress patterns. These patterns include the character of vegetation that can be cultured as well as the management intensity that can be feasibly implemented. The composite result of this interaction is a temporal pattern of nutrient availability to animals living in the environment. Our team assesses these patterns to develop models of seasonal nutrient availability that are matched with seasonal nutrient requirements of the selected animal genotypes. The degree of fit of these two models is assessed to determine the nature and seasonality of supplementation.  

Strategic Amelioration of Stress Patterns

Climate change effects are not only limited to crop production, but also affect livestock production, for example reduced milk yields and milk quality, reduced meat production and reduced fertility. Therefore, livestock-based food security is threatened in many parts of the world. Furthermore, multiple stressors are a common phenomenon in many environments, and are likely to increase due to climate change. To sustain livestock production in an environment challenged by climate change, it is important to strategically manage stress patterns. All environments offer challenges to plants and animals living in them. Not all of these challenges produce stress for all animals. Stress occurs when the animals cannot manage the challenges either through physiological, behavioral, or biochemical mechanisms. When animals cannot manage these challenges, the result is defined as stress. The bottom-line of unresolved stress is a reduction in either quantity or quality of production. Therefore, our team works in context of challenges provided by production environment and the ability of select animals to manage these environmental challenges to formulate methods to economically reduce the effect of these stresses.

Vertical and Horizontal Integration

Vertical integration is becoming an increasingly noticeable feature of the livestock industries all round the world. There are differences across countries in the way that integration arrangements operate, but typically it displaces the decision-making authority from the farmer to the downstream producer or processor, turning farmers into quasi-employees (Reardon and Barrett 2000).

Horizontal integration, unlike vertical integration, involves relationships between farms at the same stage in the production process. For example, a large company owned farm producing beef could be horizontally integrated with a small operation owned and operated by an independent producer. The large farm provides technical expertise and other variable inputs such as animal feed and veterinary services to the small farm. The operator of the small farm provides labor and fixed inputs such as land and housing for the livestock. The large farm avoids incurring high fixed costs through this form of arrangement and the operator of the small farm learns how to manage livestock in a manner likely to increase the marketability of the livestock product produced on that farm. The composite result of trends in food production is increased risk of production. Our team works with clients to ameliorate these risks through development of vertical and horizontal integration schemes. These schemes are designed to streamline production and to account for risks associated with geographically specific catastrophic events.

Organic and Natural Meat Production

For an animal to be considered organic, the USDA regulates several standards. Beyond eating organic feed and being free of hormone injections, an organic animal must spend time outdoors and have enough space to live what the USDA defines as comfortably.

The USDA defines a natural product as one that contains “no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed.” Processing must not fundamentally alter the product.

In the process of organic meat production, the processors and distributors are overseen equally with the producers. At every stage, quality takes priority over quantity. Every aspect of meat production impacts the final quality of organic and natural meat. The tools available to accomplish the aspects of production discussed herein concerning integrated food production are reduced. In organic and natural food production However, the fundamental principle stated herein is the primary rule we live by. That is, we must innovatively create harmony in nature, bending her to our purposes of producing designer foods for discerning markets. (Note: this is the same as for plants)

Market Analysis and Projections

Our Market research analysis and projection techniques comprise of both analytical as well as statistical research methods adapted to harness and interpret information in a systematic way.

Enhanced Exchange has established strategic partnerships with key data providers and has access to a large amount of data about Animals worldwide. One cannot design production systems to produce to “design” foods, unless the market desires are understood. Therefore, Also, to state the problem starkly, there is no need to grow food that no one wants to eat. In order to understand the market, our team works in a personal manner with those in the food industry on the front lines of the battle, the food providers (food service and grocers) who confront daily the issue of customer satisfaction or grievance. Our team works to translate perceived desires (complaints) into food specifications “designed” to satisfy market desires and then to determine critical control points requiring alteration to assure the products consistently meet these specifications. (Note: this is the same as for plants)

Food

Characterization of Target Markets

The target market typically consists of consumers who exhibit similar characteristics and are considered most likely to buy a business’s market offerings or are likely to be the most profitable segments for the business to service.

Three main activities of target marketing are segmenting, targeting and positioning. These three steps make up what is commonly referred to as the S-T-P marketing process and are an integral part of our services.

Standardization and Certification of Food Integrity, Quality and Safety

Food safety has become a major issue throughout the entire supply chain within the food industry. Both consumers and health authorities demand that the food we consume offer high levels of integrity, quality and safety throughout the entire production chain and until its consumption by people. If there is a problem, it is necessary to identify its causes quickly and solve it as soon as possible. Therefore, there is a wide range of regulations and a large number of certifications that can guarantee food safety so that its consumption is suitable for certain consumer groups.

We offer innovative food certification services of your systems, processes and products to relevant international standards by our team of experts. We have the expertise, experience and global presence to support and guide you through the entire standardization and certification process, helping you to meet the challenges and maximize the benefits. The overall purpose of our integrated consulting team is to certify and standardize food Integrity, Quality and Safety. We focus on two areas of certification:

Certify high-end foods and beverages as to:

  1. Production Process
    1. Source Verification
    2. Humane animal treatment
    3. Natural or Organic Production
    4. Environmental Friendliness
    5. Animal Hygiene
  2. Food and Beverage Quality
    1. Meats: tenderness, juiciness, flavor, texture, color, aroma
    2. Wines: color, flavor, mouthfeel
  3. Food and Beverage Safety
    1. Free of harmful; chemicals
    2. Free of disease organisms
    3. Freshness

Certify production processes:

  1. Audit company plants.
  2. Audit Foods and Beverages.
  3. Provide seals of certification.
  4. Education of employees (audiotors, etc. and customers).
    1. University short courses
    2. Degree programs in food safety/quality
    3. Seminars for customers

Development and Implementation of HACCP and QACCP

Enhanced Exchange executes HACCP as a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and control of food safety hazards. We execute HACCP through vigilant adherence to Standard Operating Procedures based on seven principles:

  1. Conduction of hazard analyses
  2. Determination of critical control points (CCPs)
  3. Establishment of critical limits at each CCP
  4. Establishment of monitoring procedures for each critical limit
  5. Establishment of corrective actions as needed
  6. Establishment of verification procedures
  7. Establishment of record-keeping and documentation procedures

These principles achieve an increase in the stringency over time, providing progressive controls over the production/delivery process.

Methodology to Increase Product Consistency

The best managers are always seeking cost-saving opportunities within their manufacturing operations. Maintaining a high level of quality requires adherence to the process, auditing, and vigilance. The more an entire manufacturing plant is on board with promoting quality and awareness, the better the quality will be. All levels of consistency, from raw ingredients to the quality auditing of finished goods, are required. Enhanced Exchange has developed its own methodology to increase product consistency in food manufacturing.

Transversal

System Efficiency Analysis

The food system is a complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport, and consumption. Issues concerning the food system include the governance and economics of food production, its sustainability, the degree to which we waste food, how food production affects the natural environment and the impact of food on individual and population health.

Using data to investigate relative performance and productivity change in the agricultural, manufacturing and service industries is key to improving farm/firm performance and to designing better policies for research and development as well as for the efficient regulation of agricultural, manufacturing and service industries.

Our consultants provide meaningful measures of productivity change that can be decomposed into measures of technical progress, environmental change, and different types of efficiency change.

Total System Integration

The food system includes not only the basic elements of how we get our food from soil to plate, but also all the processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population. Systems can also exist within systems, for example, farming systems, agricultural ecosystems, economic systems, and social systems and within those are further subsets of water systems, energy systems, financing systems, marketing systems, policy systems, culinary systems, and so on.

Population health is also a key factor in addressing food systems challenges, especially as nutrition-related chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer are major contributors to the global burden of disease.

In order to plan sustainable, equitable, and healthy food systems for the future we require integrated and innovative analytical methods and approaches from a range of disciplines, as well as effective intersectoral policy analysis and multi stakeholder engagement.

Streamlining Transportation and Storage

One of the main goals of any business is to provide high-quality customer service to customers. A well-executed and proactive plan towards streamlining transportation and storage management can make the difference between excellent customer service, and customers looking elsewhere for their needs. The benefits of a streamlined process for delivering goods includes saving money on transportation costs, faster delivery time to customers, and the ability to use available warehouse space more effectively.