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The Future of Agri-food Event Series is convening key Canadian thought leaders to explore Canada’s role in the future of the agri-food system, and the key opportunities and challenges facing the sector. The series is jointly convened by the Ivey Centre for Building Sustainable Value, Ivey Academy, and the Institute for Sustainable Finance. The primary goal is to build awareness in key networks (executive leaders in business and finance) concerning key opportunities and challenges in agri-food for Canada, especially the critical issues associated with a just climate transition.

The first session of the series was held in October 2023. Three panellists (Scott Ross, Executive Director, Canadian Federation of Agriculture; Alison Sunstrum, Founder & CEO, CNSRV-X & General Partner, The51; and Tyler McCann, Managing Director, Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute) unpacked Canada’s position in the global agri-food market. Speakers identified the key opportunities and challenges facing Canadian agri-businesses, and explored how Canada can be a leader in the future of agri-food. The event was widely attended by industry representatives, researchers, and other affiliated groups in the agricultural sphere.

The second session of the series was held in January 2024. The "Regenerative agriculture: The role of finance & the value chain" session included the launch of a new Ivey Centre for Building Sustainable Value Report – Advancing Regenerative Agriculture in Canada: Barriers & Enablers – supported by the Institute for Sustainable Finance. The report provides a state of play of regenerative agriculture in Canada, and the opportunities and enablers for scaling regenerative practices from the perspective of key stakeholders in the agri-food system. The session featured expert analysis from McCain Foods, a global food industry leader in incentivizing and supporting farm suppliers to adopt regenerative practices, and from BMO, one of Canada’s leading banks, actively focusing on investment in sustainable agriculture.

The session tackled critical questions relating to regenerative agriculture as a key pathway for systems change: Why is adopting regenerative farming practices important for the food industry? How can we better align finance and incentives for sustainable practices across the value chain? What are the key enablers to unlock investment at scale in sustainable and regenerative agriculture? What barriers need to be overcome? How can the government’s new Sustainable Agriculture Strategy support private investment in sustainable agriculture?

Future sessions of the Future of Agri-food Event Series will likely tackle other key system issues and opportunities including the development of circular models and collaborative strategies to tackle Scope 3 emissions across the entire value chain.

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