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Arrell Food Summit 2023

November 14, 2023 – Toronto, ON

Canada’s agri-food system is facing challenges and disruptions which will require us to explore new pathways to change that support a food system which is safe, sustainable and secure. Food security and supply chain disruptions have come into the spotlight with recent world events; the agri-food sector is moving towards sustainability in the face of the climate crisis; new technology offers both solutions and new challenges, and the sector is grappling with how we can break down barriers to entry for equity-deserving groups. At the Arrell Food Summit on November 14, we learned about these issues, highlighted people behind emerging solutions and discussed whether we have the traction needed to provide food for a growing population while protecting the health of people, nature and the planet.

Learn more about the sessions below.

“I believe that innovations properly applied can lead us to a pathway for change”

Evan Fraser, Director, Arrell Food Institute

“Our collective lack of understanding of food insecurity is one of the greatest barriers to effectively addressing it.”

Paul Taylor, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant, Evenings & Weekends Consulting

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“It’s hard to change systems. But we have to work from the ground up and the top down. And that’s why these kinds of gatherings help”

Zita Cobb, Co-Founder and CEO, Shorefast Foundation

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“A lot of people think that food security begins and ends at the farm. But it really doesn’t. It begins at the farm, but it ends at the shelf”

Peter Dhillon, CEO, Richberry Group of Companies

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Breakout Sessions

Elevating Voices

Chef Bashir Munye led an interactive session called Decolonizing the Table, which challenged participants to break age-old assumptions and biases in the food and hospitality industry.

Breaking Barriers in Food and Agriculture taught participants how to assess an organization’s DEI journey, prioritize mentorship, recruit diverse talent, and create opportunities for new farmers.

Policy and Advocacy: A Summit Salon discussed policy and advocacy in food systems at a global and local level.

Engaging Stakeholders: an Ag-Tech Dialogue

From the devastating wildfires across Canada to extreme weather conditions around the world, the climate crisis has amplified the urgency and need to utilize innovations to help solve climate change challenges. Arrell Food Summit participants were invited to participate in a dialogue about the potential of Canadian innovations and technologies to impact food, agriculture and climate. The feedback was gathered and published in a report.

Read the report
Read the report

Research Pathways to a Sustainable Future

The University of Guelph is at the forefront of a variety of research leading pathways to a more sustainable food future.  This session will brought together a multidisciplinary set of researchers from the University of Guelph to share their work.

Panelists included:

  • Andrew MacDougall, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology
  • Asim Biswas, Professor, School of Environmental Sciences
  • Emily Robinson, Food Education Manager, School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management
  • Kate Parizeau, Professor, Department of Geography, Environment & Geomatics
  • Silvia Sarapura, Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
  • Deb Stark, Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors