Food Business Seminar to Explore Global Challenges


Helping Canada’s food industry better compete in a global marketplace is the goal of the first University of Guelph Food and Agriculture Business Seminar.

Food and agricultural business leaders, financial professionals, senior government policy-makers and leaders of non-governmental organizations will gather in Guelph June 21-23. The seminar is offered by the Food Institute of the University of Guelph.

Created in 2012 to connect food-related research and activities among the University’s seven colleges, the institute aims to strengthen Canada’s food sector and enhance U of G’s leading reputation in shaping food policy and business.

“The food and agriculture business seminar is designed to bring together the leaders in food, so that they can learn from each other’s expertise in a collegial, non-competitive environment,” said Paul Uys, director of the institute.

“We want participants to leave with a new perspective, strategic networks and the critical skills necessary to better succeed in their own businesses and the food industry as a whole.”

The seminar will offer case studies designed to encourage discussion of current challenges and topics.

Topics will include PepsiCo Canada’s internal branding strategy, corporate philanthropy by Campbell’s Canada, the seasonal agricultural worker program, and Monsanto’s challenge of engaging consumers in discussing genetically modified organisms.

Representatives from those organizations will provide their perspective on these issues.

“Food and agricultural companies are facing a number of challenges never before experienced, and they are reshaping the industry,” said Uys, who previously worked at Loblaw’s as vice-president of innovation.

“These studies examine some of the key issues facing many of our industry partners and policy makers; this is an opportunity for a frank and open discussion of the challenges faced and the lessons learned from these issues. Those attending will explore the shifts in government policy, food security, consumer perspective and developing markets.”

Participants will discuss human resources, consumer perspectives, business diversity, emerging markets and the influences of corporate culture.

The event begins Sunday evening and will be hosted on the university campus.