Events

16 Sep 2020

EventsWebinar: National Index on Agri-Food Performance

Metrics and Benchmarks

The National Index on Agri-Food Performance project is investigating how Canada’s agri-food sector can design appropriate benchmarks to demonstrate its leadership and progress to a national and international audience. Outcomes-based targets and benchmarks are being increasingly deployed to operate, compete and contribute to economic viability in this rapidly changing agri-food world. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that economic success and resiliency is tied to demonstrating environmental, social and health resiliency. But right now, a consolidated set of metrics is not readily available to show that Canada is among the most environmentally sustainable, safest, reliable and responsible global food leaders.

A webinar with thought-leaders from Canada and abroad was held on September 16, 2020, to discuss this topic with support from the following National Index on Agri-Food Performance partners. View the agenda here.



Watch the Webinar



Poll Results

Participants were polled during the webinar on questions about performance indicators in the agri-food sector, with the following results.



Speakers

Christophe Béné, Senior Researcher, Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, part of Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) 

Christophe Béné is Senior Researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) – now part of the ‘Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT’ and member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). He is currently based in Cali, Colombia. He has 20+ years of experience conducting inter-disciplinary research and advisory work in different parts of the world (Africa, Asia, Pacific), focusing on poverty alleviation, food security, and more generally low income countries’ economic development. In his career, he worked on a wide range of topics, including natural resource management (essentially in relation to small scale fisheries), analysis of policy and science-policy interface, resilience (measurement), and more recently food system. He holds a PhD in Environment and Life Sciences from the University of Paris 6 (France), a post-graduate Diploma in Development Economics from the School of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia (UK), and a Master in Environmental Sciences from the University of Marseille (France). Before joining CIAT in 2015, he worked for different research organizations including the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in UK, the WorldFish Center in Egypt and Malaysia, and the Economic Department of the University of Portsmouth (UK).

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Viktoria de Bourbon de Parme, Food Transformation Lead, World Benchmarking Alliance 

Viktoria leads the food transformation at WBA. She is responsible for the development and engagement of the Food and Agriculture Benchmark, making sure that the benchmark methodology reflects stakeholder expectations and that it is widely used. In addition, she works closely with the spotlight indices: Access to Seeds Index and Seafood Stewardship Index. Viktoria believes that business is at the center of the food systems transformation. The benchmark and the spotlight indices are crucial tools to measure progress and identify opportunities to realize more healthy, sustainable and equitable food systems. 

Viktoria is a happy foodie and amateur gardener. She holds a Masters in International Business Transactions & Law from the Nyenrode Business University and the University of Amsterdam. She has worked as a corporate lawyer for Allen & Overy and legal advisor for Rabobank. Before joining WBA, Viktoria was an independent advisor convening multi-stakeholder partnerships to improve livelihoods, nutrition and environment within food systems. 

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Michael Crowe, Board Member, Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network; Vice President, Academic and Research, Lakeland College 

Michael Crowe is the Vice President, Academic and Research at Lakeland College, one of the largest agricultural colleges in Canada. He also serves on the interim Board of Directors for the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) and as a member of the steering committee for the Sustainable Agri-Food Traceability (SAFT) Initiative. 

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and Master of Science degree in Ecology, both from the University of Lethbridge. Michael is a passionate educator and has worked in the post-secondary sector in Alberta for more than 17 years. In his current role at Lakeland, Michael provides leadership and strategic direction to research initiatives at the College, which focus on improving agricultural productivity and sustainability in key commercial crop and livestock species. Research activities are conducted in partnership with key stakeholders on Lakeland’s award-winning Student Managed Farm, a commercial-scale crop and beef operation. Lakeland College is also launching a new Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Technology beginning in the 20/21 academic year and a new Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture in 21/22.

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Brenna Grant, Manager, Canfax Research Services, a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association 

Brenna grew up in SW Saskatchewan on a cow/calf, yearling grasser operation where her family still operates. She received a BA in Agricultural Economics from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters in Applied Economics from Montana State University. 

Canfax Research focuses on global and long term outlooks; performance measurement for marketing and research; economic and market research. She has been with Canfax Research since 2007.

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David McInnes, Coordinator, National Index on Agri-Food Performance 

David is the Principal of DMci Strategies and a strategic advisor, speaker and facilitator on change and opportunity facing the global food system. He is currently leading a diverse coalition of industry, government, academic, NGO and innovation organizations to develop a national index on agri-food performance. David has also been a Senior Fellow at Canada 2020 (an Ottawa-based think tank) where, last year, he led another national conversation about protecting Canada’s trusted food brand. 

David is a Governance Committee Member of the Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative, an Affiliate of McGill University’s Institute for Global Food Security, a Global Advisor for Nova Scotia Business Inc. and has recently been a Contributing Editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit. Previously, David was President & CEO of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute and has worked for a global life sciences company, a chartered bank, a financial services association and a Royal Commission. He is the former Chair of WaterAid Canada and Trustee of London-based WaterAid International, an NGO dedicated to improving water, sanitation and hygiene across the global south. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Dalhousie University.

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Susie Miller, Executive Director, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops 

Susie Miller is the Executive Director of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC). The CRSC is a member-based organization that facilitates cross-commodity collaboration on sustainable agriculture issues and opportunities facing grains sector participants. 

Susie has worked extensively with the Canadian agriculture and food industry, with over 30 years of experience with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and industry associations.

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Greg Peterson, Assistant Chief Statistician, Economic Statistics, Statistics Canada 

Greg Peterson is Assistant Chief Statistician responsible for the Economic Statistics Program at Statistics Canada. His responsibilities include ensuring the quality, relevance, and accessibility of a large and complex statistical program covering all aspects of the Canadian economy including industrial production, merchandise trade, investment, energy and environment-related information, consumer and producer prices, and the macroeconomic statistics produced within the Canadian System of National Accounts. 

An economist with an M.A. (Economics) degree from Queen’s University, Greg began his career at Statistics Canada in 1990. Prior to his current role, Greg, worked in areas of Investment, Science and Technology as well as Agriculture, Energy and the Environment Statistics, where he was responsible for Canada’s census of agriculture, and the development of the Canadian Centre for Energy Statistics, a multi-departmental effort to provide more timely energy information for all Canadians.

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Bridget Schrempf, Manager, Sustainable Food Systems, CDP 

As the Manager of CDP’s Sustainable Food Systems initiative, Bridget Schrempf is leading CDP’s efforts to highlight the impact of our current food system on GHG emissions, water security and deforestation, and its critical role in achieving a low-carbon economy. Bridget works across CDP’s programs to build out a systems and value chain approach that will support our stakeholders by developing and disseminating data-driven strategies and rationales for action that will drive shifts in business and procurement practices, enabling the sustainable transition to a food system capable of surviving and thriving in a 1.5C world. 

Prior to the launch of the SFSI, Bridget led CDP’s corporate engagement in North America, working closely with companies preparing to take climate actions that will “future proof” their business models and ensure their continued economic success in a low-carbon economy. These actions included setting 100% renewable energy targets (through RE100) and setting science-based emissions reduction targets, for which Bridget was a member of the Science Based Targets initiative Core team. Previous joining CDP, Bridget worked to convene stakeholders and advance advocacy efforts towards an agricultural research and innovation policy for the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector during her time at Agricultural Institute of Canada. She has a B.S in Environment specializing in ecological determinants of health.

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Deborah Wilson, Chief Industry Engagement Officer, TrustBix Inc. 

Deborah Wilson is Chief Industry Engagement Officer, for TrustBIX Inc. which operates Business InfoXchange (BIX) and ViewTrak Technologies in Canada, US, Mexico and China. Her role is industry engagement in agriculture, data, agtech, sustainability and traceability. The team at TustBIX continue to work on a precompetitive system development, blockchain applications, data sharing in all supply chains, collaborative partnerships and pilot projects. TrustBIX believes consumers want to know how and where their food is sourced and produced, and that it is critical that agriculture provide benchmarking and validation of claims. The BIX platform was the backbone of the original McDonald’s Sustainable Beef Pilot Project from 2015 to 2016. 

Deborah sits on the National Council for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), was instrumental in the formation of the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration (CBSA) Pilot project. Sustainability claims must be supported by an auditable “chain of custody” (ISEAL), which BIX provided successfully to Cargill in the CBSA pilot, from 2017 to 2019. The Cargill pilot has evolved into a permanent program, the Certified Sustainable Beef program. Wilson and the TrustBIX team are part of the CAAIN (Canadian Agri-food Automation Intelligence Network) Super Cluster, working on launching SAFT (Sustainable Agri-food Traceability program) and look forward to working with other sectors in the Canadian agri-food industry.



Bronwynne Wilton, Project Lead, Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative (CASI); Principal & Lead Consultant, Wilton Consulting Group

Bronwynne is the Principal and Lead Consultant at Wilton Consulting Group in Guelph, Ontario where she and her team take a systems approach to solving problems and finding innovative solutions for the agri-food sector. As part of this work, she brings a passion for, and a deep knowledge of the social, economic, and environmental aspects of the Canadian agri-food system. Bronwynne holds a PhD in Rural Studies and is experienced in managing comprehensive, full value-chain research and stakeholder engagement processes related to sustainability, innovation, strategic planning, and regional agriculture and food strategies. She is trusted for her comprehensive knowledge of, and commitment to a vibrant agri-food sector as well as innovative, prosperous, and sustainable rural communities. Bronwynne is currently the project lead for the development of the Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative (CASI). 

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