A Conference to Address Challenges and Opportunities throughout the Food Chain

March 31 & April 1, 2016

Delta Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre, Guelph, ON

Hosted by OIA Guelph Branch

Conference Brochure


Online Registration via Eventbrite


As demands on our industry increase, our actions for which we are responsible will come under ever increasing scrutiny.  Whether it is to feed 9 billion people in the future; protect the environment; achieve sustainability objectives or manage the impacts on the daily lives of people; the decisions we make every day have consequences.  Our place in the global market will be enhanced through proven assurance and the credibility and enhanced networks predicated on collaboration, cooperation and increased dialogue.

The OIA Guelph Branch invites you to attend a conference addressing the challenges and opportunities throughout the food chain.  The theme of the conference is “Responsibilities in a Demanding World”.  There is a global move to go beyond traditional testing, inspection and training.  We are seeing all sectors involved in the production and retail of food having to adopt principles related to values and beliefs.  Trends domestically and in meeting export markets will involve the need to enhance the credibility of those contributing to the supply chain, including Ontario practitioners.  The conference will have wide audience appeal involving production agriculture, the agri-food industry, students, food processing, retailing, producer organizations, and government.

The range of speakers will ensure attendees have an opportunity to learn from advances, hear the latest best practices and experience first-hand the potential that is before us to grow business opportunities while meeting public expectations.  The post conference tour destinations are chosen to demonstrate agri-innovation, research commercialization and small business advancement in the area.

Conference Sponsors

Conference Program

Conference Agenda

The conference will have wide audience appeal involving production agriculture, the agri-food industry, students, food processing, retailing, producer organizations, and government.

Registration Starts: 9:15 am.                  Conference Opens: 10:15 am.

  • Tim Faveri
Tim Faveri Vice President, Sustainability & Shared Value, Maple Leaf Foods. As VP of Sustainability and a Member of the Maple Leaf Foods Senior Management Forum, Tim is responsible for leading the company's sustainability initiatives and activities. He will speak to values, beliefs, transparency and trust building efforts at Maple Leaf to meet consumer demands.
  • Dr. Colin Sage
Dr. Colin Sage Professor, University College in Cork, Southern Ireland. Author of “Environment and Food”. Colin’s primary research is the inter-relationship of food and environmental resources; the development of the global food system; and issues of governance and risk construction.
  • Dr. Sylvain Charlebois
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois Professor, University of Guelph, College of Business and Economics. Presently visiting Professor at the University of Innsbruk, Austria. Sylvain is a member of the Global Food Traceability Centre’s Advisory Board based in Washington DC, and a member of the National Advisory Board of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ottawa.
  • Naomi Loewith
Naomi Leowith Lawyer & Investment Manager, Bentham IMF. From an Ontario dairy farm and a Harvard Honours grad, Naomi will speak to matters of professional negligence as she has prosecuted professional disciplinary matters before several regulatory bodies in Ontario.
  • Wade Barnes (Sponsored by Farm Credit Canada)
President & CEO, Farmers Edge. As one of the foremost agronomists in North America, Wade Barnes is a pioneer in the Precision Agriculture movement. Raised as a grower in rural Manitoba, Canada, Wade founded Farmers Edge in 2005 and over the last decade has expanded both the company and the range of grower-based solutions Farmers Edge offers to encompass 4 continents and 5 countries. Leading a team of 250+ dedicated precision agronomists, technology innovators, and sustainability experts, Wade is focused on increasing sustainable farm yields to feed the world’s 9B by 2050.
  • Daniel Yeon, P.Ag.
Vice President, Operations CAPI. An independent, non-partisan policy catalyst, the Canadian Agriculture Policy Institute (CAPI) brings insight, evidence and balance to emerging agri-food policy issues. In a report released in February, Achieving What's Possible for Canada's Agri-Food Sector, CAPI declares that the future success of Canada's agri-food sector will depend on meaningfully enhancing "trust". The findings of the CAPI report will be presented along with the efforts needed to attain “social license” in the marketplace.
  • Andrew Campbell
Producer. Author at Fresh Air Media. A dairy and cash crop farmer renowned for his efforts to guide groups, companies and individuals through the murky waters of social media and new technology within the agriculture sector, Andrew will speak to growing responsibilities within today’s value chain.


Banquet Program

  • Richard Ellis (Sponsored by Meridian)
Richard Ellis Senior Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs, McDonald’s Canada. Richard leads the sustainability, customer relations, diversity & inclusion, management communications and creative services & events management departments at McDonald’s Canada. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada.
  • Auction to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities
  • Award Presentation


OIA 57th AGM


Post-Conference Tour

  • 10:30 AM (sharp) - Bus departs from the Delta Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre
1st Stop: Livestock Research and Innovation Centre
A joint project between the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), the University of Guelph and the Ontario dairy industry, this innovative facility benefits research, education, training needs, and the priorities of the Ontario and Canadian dairy sectors ensuring a strong and vibrant future for this important agri-food industry. Its unique design provides the flexibility for meeting multi-discipline needs through the collection of data and samples. The Centre houses 240 free-stall dairy cows for replication of research trials and 24 cows in tie-stalls for projects where more research instrumentation and cow monitoring is required. A rotary parlour plus a voluntary milking robot simulates the differing requirements of the dairy industry.
2nd Stop: Elora Brewing Company (lunch included)
A new craft brewery located in Elora, Ontario, the Elora Brewing Company “follows a proud tradition of serving craft beers made with the skill and attention it deserves”. The brewery features bar and tasting area, boutique bottle shop and growler fills. The tour will provide a true craft beer experience and lunch will be served on-site with some of the best “farm-to-table” food in the region.
3rd Stop: Alma Aquaculture Research Station (AARS)
A state-of-the-art aquaculture research and development facility located near Elmira, Ontario, the AARS is the backbone of the Fish Production Research Program providing up-scale systems for aquaculture researchers at the University of Guelph and other institutions. It has supported over 135 research projects since its inception. In concert with the Aquaculture Centre, various well-received education and training programs have been developed at the graduate, undergraduate, college, and high-school level.
  • 4:00 PM (estimated) - Bus returns to the Delta Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre




A block of rooms has been reserved at the Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre. The conference rate is $119.00 plus applicable taxes offered for March 30 — April 2, 2016. The rate applies to the Premier King Room or Delta Room Two Queens. Please make your reservation directly with the hotel by Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 and indicate that you are attending the OIA Conference. Following this date the preferred rate or room availability cannot be guaranteed. Parking is included in the hotel rate.

Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre
50 Stone Rd. West
Guelph, ON N1G 0A9
Phone: 1-519- 780-3700

For a map or directions please visit: