Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
November 11, 2002
U of G receives agri-food award
The University of Guelph's Food Safety Network will be presented with a Canadian Agri-Food Award of Excellence for Agricultural Awareness and Education at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto on Nov. 11.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Lyle Vanclief and Royal Winter Fair president Don Rickard will present the award to U of G plant agriculture professor Doug Powell. Powell founded the Food Safety Network, which was officially launched in March, and acts as its scientific director.
The Canadian Agri-Food Awards of Excellence, sponsored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Royal, recognize outstanding achievement in five areas key to the success and growth of agriculture: environmental stewardship, innovation, export performance, agricultural awareness and education, and voluntarism.
When Powell was notified of the award, he was quick to credit his co-workers. "This is a group award," he said. "It's a great reflection of the dedication of the food safety professionals – the undergraduates, graduate students and research assistants – who work at the Food Safety Network."
In addition to providing daily news updates on food science through its Web site, www.foodsafetynetwork.ca, the network develops and implements on-farm food safety programs for fresh produce, works with retailers, and conducts studies on genetically engineered and conventional fruit and vegetable crops at a Hillsburgh, Ont., research and demonstration farm that is open to the public.
The Food Safety Network has a "safe food, from farm to fork" philosophy of informing the public, producers and scientists about the need for ever-improving food safety in the agriculture and agri-food sectors. This philosophy complements the federal government's new agricultural policy framework, which strives to make Canada the world leader in food safety and quality, as well as innovation and risk management.
"We actively reach out to everyone in that farm-to-fork system – the producers, retailers and consumers – and actively engage them in improving food safety," said Powell. "Food safety is not just a consumer issue or a farmer issue. It's everyone's issue."
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