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Shaping pathways of “real world” systems change requires BSV to focus its activities on sectorial contexts that require urgent action and for which we have the capability to play a role in catalyzing change. We have identified the agri-food system in Canada as an ideal candidate for our work.

The agri-food system spans diverse supply chains, from meat and fish to dairy, eggs, crops and produce. Each supply chain involves a variety of stakeholders from farmers, processors, distributors, retailers and consumers that operate at local, provincial, national and even international levels. This system has major linkages with critical sustainability challenges:

Critical sustainability issues of the agri-food industry include climate change, social inequity, and biodiversity loss

BSV also has deep existing expertise in agri-food. Our scholars have worked in agri-food for many years, across multiple projects, and have developed important partnerships with organizations within and outside Canada.

For the next three years, the Centre will apply systems tools and approaches to analyse the systemic challenges and opportunities of the agri-food sector. As we understand the challenges and opportunities, we will bring a broad set of stakeholders together to innovate solutions. We aim to establish methodologies and a set of tools and approaches that will be subsequently applied to other systems and sectors, such as energy and the built environment.

If you are interested to know more about BSV's work in the agri-food sector, please contact



Barriers, Enablers, and

Project Spotlights

Skyline with mountains, wind turbine, and clouds

The future of agri-food: Canada's leadership opportunity

A panel of industry experts explore the large-scale opportunity for Canada to be a leader in agri-food, covering facets such as sustainability, technological innovation, and competition within a global market.

Plots of farmland from aerial view

Hard talks yield big results for agri-food researchers at BSV Colloquium

In September 2023, the BSV Centre convened a multi-stakeholder roundtable on collective action for a resilient and just agricultural system. Hear about the conversations that transpired when diverse stakeholders came together.

Solar panels overtop a farm field

The unexpected reason$ farmers are planting crops under solar panels

Research from Professor Joshua Pearce explains agrivolataic farming and how the innovation can help meet Canada’s food and energy needs and reduce its fossil fuel reliance and greenhouse gas emissions in the future. 

Jury Gualandris and others sitting in chairs on a panel

Ivey co-organizer of first Canadian Circular Economy Summit

The first Circular Economy Summit, which sold out six weeks in advance, allowed over 400 leaders from across Canada to come together in Toronto to collaborate on efforts and activities and develop an action agenda for the circular economy.  

People sitting around circular tables in a classroom

Collaborative innovation for healthy Canadian soil

In Canada, only about 7% of land mass is suitable for agriculture. This is why Innovation North is deploying their Compass tool to engage stakeholders of all types in improving Ontario's soil health. A collaboration with the University of Guelph resulted in a full-day soil health workshop.

People farming in a field

Regenerative agriculture: transforming farming toward sustainability

Regenerative agriculture is a sustainable approach to farming that focuses on greater harmony between agricultural production, ecosystems, and the climate. An Ivey research project led by Dr. Jury Gualandris – Towards a Climate-Smart Food System – is exploring how Canada can more widely adopt regenerative agriculture. 

Circular "clusters"

Canadian circular supply networks in the agri-food sector

A groundbreaking research project led by the Centre for Building Sustainable Value’s Circular Economy Lab is exploring the formation of ‘circular clusters’ (mini circular supply networks) and their potential to reduce food waste and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

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