Lang BComm students lead sustainable food systems conference | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

Lang BComm students lead sustainable food systems conference

Posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

Students at the Forward Food conference

Earlier this month, U of G students from the University of Guelph Sustainable Restaurant Project (UGSRP) hosted Forward Food, a student conference focused on sustainable food systems.

Food Forward was a full-day conference that brought prominent speakers to the University of Guelph to discuss issues in the Canadian Restaurant Industry. The conference brought over 100 hospitality and culinary student delegates from across Ontario to campus for an opportunity to learn about major environmental sustainability themes in the hospitality industry and explore how these themes are impacting the industry at the global level.

The conference focused on topics including Food Waste, Plant-Based Food, Sustainable Sourcing, and creating Foodscapes in Education. To investigate these topics, delegates heard from several industry speakers, including:

  • Food Education
    • Shanna Munro, President of Restaurants Canada
  • Sustainable Seafood
    • Ned Bell, Author and Executive Chef for Oceanwise
  • Plant-Based Trends Panel
    • Simon Somogyi, Arrell Chair in the Business of Food
    • Maggie Skelton, Sous Chef at Planta
    • Vijay Nair, Executive Chef at University of Guelph
    • Rebecca Gordon, General Manager at Miijidaa Caf√© and Bistro
  • Sustainable Business and Sourcing
    • Daniel Hadida, Chef at Pearl Morissette
    • Court Desautels, President of the Neighbourhood Group of Restaurants
    • Molly Gallant, Research Associate in Food Waste and Food Literacy
  • Corporate Impact Panel
    • Ron Walters, Director of Marketing Foodservice Division for Highliner
    • Michael St. Marie, Senior Sales Manager for Lamb Weston
    • Monika Giasson, Product Manager for Gay Lea Foods
  • Food Waste
    • Jonathan Bloom, International Speaker and Author of American Wasteland


Congratulations to student organizers for hosting an incredible event. Special thanks to all guest speakers for providing valuable insight and leading great discussion with student delegates.

UGSRP is a team of students, faculty and community partners that are committed to working towards a more sustainable future for the restaurant industry. Through the project, the team hopes to create change in both the mindset and behaviours of hospitality students, hospitality educators, and operators in industry so that schools come together with a more sustainably-focused curriculum to produce leaders for a sustainable world.

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