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Home / Events / Food for All Talks 08 – “The Nutritious Supply Chain: Optimizing Humanitarian Food Aid”
Food for All Talks 08 – “The Nutritious Supply Chain: Optimizing Humanitarian Food Aid”
Food for All Talks 06
Tuesday March 19, 2019 Image: F&BKP Office
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


March 19
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Online webinar

The World Bank Group’s Agriculture Global Practice is organizing a series of Food for All Talks under the WBG-Netherlands Partnership “Food for All”. In this eighth edition, Dr. Hein Fleuren of the Zero Hunger Lab and the Tilburg School of Economics & Management presents about “The Nutritious Supply Chain: Optimizing Humanitarian Food Aid”. The event takes place on Tuesday March 19, 2019 (12:30 – 14:00 AM EST in Washington DC || 17:30 – 19:00 pm CET in the Netherlands) and can also be attended globally through WebEx (see below for details). 

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, reaching around 80 million people with food assistance in 75 countries each year. To deal with the operational complexities inherent to its mandate, WFP has been developing tools to assist their decision makers with integrating the supply chain decisions across departments and functional areas.

In this presentation we describe how we have developed a model, called Optimus, that simultaneously optimizes the food basket to be delivered, the sourcing plan, the routing plan, and the transfer modality. By connecting traditional supply chain elements to nutritional objectives, we made significant breakthroughs in the operational excellence of WFP’s most complex operations, such as Iraq and Yemen. We show how we used optimization to reduce the operational costs in Iraq by 17%, while still supplying 98% of the nutritional targets.

Food for All Talk 08

The results achieved at WFP to apply data sciences to optimize supply chains through modelling for multiple, including nutritional, objectives have a broader scope for SDG2. This has led to the establishment of a Zero Hunger Lab at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. Hein Fleuren will explain how they would like to work together with a lot of organizations to fight hunger worldwide.
The lecture is chaired by Martien van Nieuwkoop, Director Agriculture Global Practice and discussants are Nadia Piffaretti, Senior Economist at FCV – FAM and Barbara Farinelli (tbc), Ag. Economist at Agr. GP – Brasilia.

How to join

Join Using WebEx: Meeting password: P53PMycC; Meeting number:  736 955 530.

Join Using Phone: Toll: 1-650-479-3207; Access code: 733 955 530.

By Video Conference, External IP:; followed by internal dial-in number 55730004.

Background information

Hein Fleuren is part-time full professor in the application of Business Analytics (BA) in Logistics at Tilburg University and he is founder of a young innovative company BlueRock Logistics, both in the Netherlands. His main conviction is that the practical application of quantitative techniques from the field of BA, for operational as well as strategic problems, can save a lot of resources (time, money, material, etc.).

Hein’s main specialization is transport & distribution and in particular express networks. Big organizations he has worked for are: Philips Electronics, Deutsche Post AG and TNT Express. In 2010 Hein, changed his research focus to humanitarian supply chains because the same business analytics methods can be used there with not only a financial benefit for one company but benefits for humanity as a whole. He, together with his master thesis students, has started a research programme at the United Nations – World Food Programme (WFP). This research has contributed a lot to the efficiency of the food supply chains of WFP and the impact is huge.

Food for All Talks

The Food for All Talks is a series initiated by the Food for All Partnership of the World Bank Group and the Netherlands. They deliver new insights on strategic issues and operational questions around agriculture and food value chains for the WBG. For more information, visit the Food for All webpage.

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