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Net-Zero Food Systems Challenge

An innovative educational program brought to you by Arrell Food Institute, the Ontario Agricultural College, and Loblaw Companies Limited

The Net-Zero Food Systems Challenge is an experiential learning program that brings together graduate students from across Canada to develop solutions for a net-zero food system. The purpose of the program is to develop the skills of emerging food leaders who are interested in sustainable practices and how to build these into a food system that is net-zero.

Participants have been organized into two teams and assigned specific topics to work on over several months to develop solutions to these issues.

The Net-Zero Food Systems Challenge is run by Arrell Food Institute and the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph. It is supported financially by Loblaw Companies Limited.

Applications for the program are now closed.

Program structure

The Net-Zero Food Systems Challenge began in May 2023 when participants gathered in-person to learn more about the program and its themes, meet their cohort, hear from guest speakers and take part in interactive sessions and field trips.

The participants have been organized into two teams and assigned specific challenges. Over the next six months, these teams will work together on their challenge and project. There will be regular check-ins with the AFI facilitators and academic and industry experts.

In November 2023 the teams will present their solutions.

Message from the Director

“The Net-Zero Food Systems Challenge is an opportunity for future food leaders to immerse themselves into one of the most important topics affecting the food sectors today”

Evan Fraser, AFI Director

Program themes

The participants will be given a specific challenge in one of the following areas:

How can food retailers work with others to encourage farmers to adopt regenerative farming practices to achieve net-zero?

How can food retailers encourage consumer awareness and purchase behaviours of climate-responsible
products to achieve net-zero?

Sustainable food systems for our future

The future of food depends on a resilient food system that can feed a growing population while protecting the health of the planet.

The Net-Zero Food Systems Challenge is one of the projects that Arrell Food Institute is leading or a partner on that is focused on a more sustainable future.

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