Prof to Take Part in Food Crisis Panel

July 17, 2008 - News Release

A University of Guelph professor is among a group of Canadian leaders invited to participate in a special panel discussion on the global food crisis July 23 in Toronto.

Prof. David Sparling, associate dean of research and graduate studies for the College of Management and Economics, will take part in "Rising Food Prices: Global Dynamics and Canada's Response." The event is part of the MaRS Global Leadership Series and will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the MaRS Collaboration Centre. It's free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Sparling has expertise on issues related to food policy, agri-food supply chains and commercializing new technologies. In recent months, he has been a regular commentator in the national media on the global food crisis.

During the panel discussion, he will talk about global issues affecting rising food prices, looking at the role of policy, markets, trade and social dynamics. Other topics to be discussed include how new agricultural economics is shaping science, innovation and product development, and new investment opportunities.

Sparling will be joined on the panel by John Johnston, a chief strategist for the Royal Bank of Canada; Ron Bonnett, a vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture; and Michael Detlefsen, former CEO of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. The discussion will be moderated by Kim Parlee, a host on the Business News Network.

The July 23 panel discussion is co-hosted by MaRS Landing, the Guelph-based centre that links U of G, the City of Guelph, Ontario Agri-Food Technologies and the MaRS Discovery District (located primarily in Toronto). MaRS Landing is intended to remove barriers to growth and improve access to tools and information in the life science and biotechnology sectors. Its primary focus is to link biomedical research from MaRS to agriculture and other rural programs.

MaRS is a non-profit innovation centre that connects science, business and capital and fosters collaboration among them. Its leadership series provides perspective on the latest leadership strategies and global trends of interest to the corporate and investment communities.

More information and registration details are available online.

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

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