Cultivate-The Sustainability Conference Not to be Missed!

Cultivate-The Sustainability Conference Not to be Missed!

Sustainability has quickly emerged as one of the most important issues within the food and beverage processing sector. This includes both an emphasis on developing sustainable operations by reducing waste and greenhouse gases but extends to developing more sustainable food products through plant-based alternatives that do not have damaging environmental consequences.

Manitoba is in the forefront of the sustainability movement and soon will be hosting a sustainability conference “Cultivate” this September 7, 2022, at the RBC Convention Centre. Organized by Manitoba Food and Beverage, the association representing food processors in the province, the event promises to be a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn more about sustainability practices and network with some of the top minds in the field.

Cultivate’s keynote speakers are from diverse and wide-ranging aspects of the food and beverage industry, but all share a passion for leading discussions on sustainability and working toward a future that benefits our industry and consumers alike.

  1. Cher Mereweather — Anthesis Provision Keynote at 9:30 am

Cher Mereweather is one of Canada’s leaders in food and beverage industry sustainability. She has dedicated her 20-year career to enabling food and beverage companies to embrace sustainability, purpose, and circularity to create a more resilient food system, one company at a time. Before founding Provision Coalition Inc., now Anthesis Provision, her career included time with the Guelph Food Technology Centre (now NSF International) where she established and directed the Sustainability Consulting Business Unit, and executive positions in environmental economics and policy with the Canadian agri-food think tank, the George Morris Centre. Mereweather holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Environmental Economics and Policy and is certified in both project and change management. She has also been awarded the Canadian Grocer Generation Next award for her leadership, innovation, and excellence in sustainability within the food and beverage industry.

  1. Ran Goel — Fresh City Farms Keynote at 12:15 pm

In 2011, Ran Goel left a lucrative career as a Wallstreet lawyer and started Fresh City Farms, an urban agriculture experiment in the heart of Toronto. Based on the idea that people want to know where their food comes from and how it was made, Fresh City Farms connects with consumers around their desire for fresh, local and sustainable products. From its humble beginnings, Fresh City Farms is now an award-winning, omni-channel retailer with over 500 employees and owns multiple retail outlets, Mama Earth Organics and the Healthy Butcher. They are now the largest organic food retailer in Ontario and support sustainability across the entire value chain.

  1. Fei Luo —LIVEN 2:30 pm (Sponsored by Bioscience Association of Manitoba)

Fei Luo is the CEO and Co-Founder of Liven, the first precision fermentation company in Canada making animal-free protein ingredients with comparative nutrition and functional value as the animal counterparts. The company currently focuses on animal-free collagen and gelatin. Prior to Liven, Luo previously managed commercialization and transfer of environmental biotechnologies developed during her graduate research at the University of Toronto to industrial partners. As an environmental consultant, Fei introduced molecular biology tools in the energy and resource industry to facilitate environmental decision-making. By co-founding Liven, Luo aspires to bring the circular economy to the Canadian and global food sector using her expertise in biotechnology. She has a PhD in Chemical Engineering.


Manitoba Food and Beverage has also lined up a series of workshops composed of a cross-section of speakers from across the value chain.

Workshop 1:

Measuring your Impact: ESG and GHG tracking.

The old adage that you cannot control what you do not measure is the first step on your sustainability journey. As markets like the EU demand rigorous proof of sustainability and new eco labels promise consumers insight and transparency into the food chain, companies that fail to understand their impact could rapidly lose access to lucrative markets. This workshop will focus on understanding different approaches to measuring your impact (ESG and Life cycle analysis) and discuss the emergence of global standards that will impact your bottom line.

Workshop 2:

Net Zero Pledges and Your Supply Chain

As retailers like Loblaws and Walmart make net-zero commitments, food manufacturers are in a unique position. As purchasers of raw ingredients and heavy users of water and energy, food manufacturing is a crucial step between consumer and primary producer. This workshop will focus on how understanding Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions is vital to your ability to respond to retail and consumer pressure, and how the opportunities of regenerative agriculture and plant-based formulations can help your business differentiate in the marketplace.

Workshop 3:

Water Usage & Wastewater

Agriculture and agri-food processing accounts for over 70% of all freshwater use globally. As climate change driven droughts and storms impact communities around the world, it is imperative that our industry reduce its water footprint. For many processors, it can also be a huge cost centre and wastewater often contains valuable nutrients and inputs for the circular economy. Join us to learn about innovative solutions across the supply chain that can help you reduce costs and lower your water footprint

Workshop 4:

Food Waste & Sustainable Packaging

The Canadian government is moving forward with its comprehensive plan in addressing waste and plastic pollution with a ban on single use plastics. Companies like Walmart and jurisdictions like the EU have made even more stringent standards around food waste and packaging. Sadly, Canadians are amongst the biggest producers of avoidable food waste in the world. Collectively, we waste over 35.5 million tonnes of food, costing the economy $49 billion dollars per year. How will your company evolve to meet these new regulations, while still maintaining your company’s dedication to providing packaging to keeping your product safe? This workshop will discuss the various solutions and innovations being developed that maintain your product’s freshness and safety, while still acknowledging waste and plastic pollution.

Workshop 5:

Attracting Sustainability Investment Panel

Investors around the world are realizing the power of capital to address sustainability. Pension funds, individual investors, and massive funds like Blackrock are demanding better environmental and social outcomes. This workshop helps you navigate the complex waters in attracting investment and where grants, subsidies and government assistance all intersect to help your company to achieve your goals.

The conference schedule kicks off September 7, 2022 at 8:30 am with registration.

Be sure to attend this one-of-a-kind event to help position your company for the future!

Check Also

Innovations in the Non-Alcoholic Beverage Category

By: Aaron Skelton, CHFA President & CEO We know the holidays drive alcohol sales and …