Economist David Foot to Speak at 27th Annual Guelph Organic Conference

January 21, 2008 - News Release

David Foot, author of the bestselling book Boom, Bust and Echo, will speak at the University of Guelph's Rozanski Hall Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. as part of the 27th Guelph Organic Conference.

The renowned Canadian economist will discuss "Organics, Demographics and Lifestyle-Driven Markets" offering his insights on how Canada's shifting demographics will continue to influence the growth of organic agriculture.

"Babyboomers, particularly the 50-plus boomers, have driven the market for organic food and drink for the past decade and will continue to do so," said Foot. "However the organic industry needs a clear definition of what 'organic' is or my fear is that it may become a fragmented industry. The demographics are all in the organic industry's favour for explosive growth, but there needs to be ownership of the brand."

A professor at the University of Toronto, Foot published Boom, Bust & Echo 2000: Profiting from the Demographic Shift in the New Millennium in 1999 and Boom, Bust & Echo: Profiting from the Demographic Shift in the 21st Century in 2001.

He is the keynote speaker at the conference, which runs Jan. 24 to 27. The theme of this year's conference is "Building Sustainable Organic Business." The four-day event will look at how farmers can transition into growing crops for organic agriculture.

One of North America's longest-running organic events, the conference was started in 1982 by two international students studying agriculture at U of G. The annual event now attracts organic farmers, retailers, wholesalers, government officials and motivated consumers from across the continent.

This year's conference will include international guest speakers, full-day training programs and 30 different workshops in areas such as starting a profitable organic farm, making organics a viable career choice, crop and organic livestock production, weed management strategies and business models for the organic retailer.

A panel on "Dialing for Consumer Dollars – Organic, Fair Trade, Local" will be held Jan. 25.

The conference also features a free trade show Jan. 26 and 27 in the University Centre with close to 160 exhibitors, some offering free organic food samples.

For registration and a conference schedule.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982,

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1