Taking Stock / Prenons la mesure

University of Ottawa
Faculty of Law
Ottawa, ON

Thursday, November 2 - Saturday, November 4, 2017

On November 2-4, 2016, the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law will host the 2nd annual national conference on food law and policy in Canada. Information about registration, the program, and the presenters will be updated soon. Check back to this space for updates. 

We look forward to seeing you in Ottawa!


THE SECOND ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF ITS KIND IN CANADA

This event is the second national food law conference of its kind in Canada and it comes at a critical juncture for Canada's food systems—one at which Canadians are confronting both pervasive challenges and a growing set of public and political commitments to respond.

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EXPLORE DEVELOPMENTS OF INTER/NATIONAL SCOPE

The world is changing and food law and policy is evolving alongside it. New technology, trade agreements, consumer demands, and industry goals will change relationships between levels of government and private actors, domestic and international stakeholders and what it means to produce, procure, and plate.

* coming soon *
HEAR LEADING THINKERS AND DECISION-MAKERS

The conference will feature presenters from across the country, representing diverse disciplinary perspectives and areas of expertise. 


QuestIons?

Find out where to stay, where to eat, and other key details about the conference.

CONFERENCE BLOG

conference background

Hear more from our speakers, students, and volunteers!

More about the conference organizing committee, the volunteer team, partners and sponsors.


 

Taking Stock: The State of Food Law and Policy in Canada will be hosted by the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, in collaboration with our generous sponsors. 

 
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Taking Stock:
Call for Submissions

 
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Our call for submissions has now closed. If you would like further information, please email conference@foodlaw.ca


A Call for Submissions for our Second Annual Food Law & Policy Conference

What is the state of food law and policy in Canada today? For the 2nd annual Canadian Food Law and Policy Conference we take stock of our food law and policy schemes – from the federal level through the provincial and territorial down to the municipal – and strategize ways to improve them.

Last year’s conference provided an opportunity to develop and define the field of food law and policy in Canada.  Our second conference allows us to go further and map the content, scope and reach of our food laws and policies.  It provides a unique opportunity to assess the ways our food laws, policies and regulatory tools are succeeding in building just, equitable, vibrant, innovative, resilient and sustainable food systems, while also documenting how they contribute to hunger, malnutrition, social exclusion, contamination, exploitation and environmental degradation.

The conference comes at a critical juncture for Canada’s food systems and the various laws and policies that govern them. This year – 2017 – marks five years from former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter’s visit to Canada and subsequent report to the UN, in which he raised concerns about systemic food insecurity across Canada (particularly in the North and for isolated communities), the health impacts of the current food system, and the lack of coordinated law and policy responses from all levels of government. It is an important moment to step back, see how far (or not far) we have come and reorganize.

This year also marks a crucial turning point for the national governance of our food systems. After years of lobbying by civil society, the Trudeau government, with the Department of Agricultural and Agri-Food taking the lead, have begun the process of developing a National Food Policy. Public consultations have begun and will continue, creating an important opportunity for civil society, industry and the legal community to participate in the development of our food systems. As a result, discussions about our current food systems, what sort of food systems we want, and how better food laws and policies can help us get there, have never been so relevant and urgent.

Finally, important developments in the regulation and trade of food domestically and internationally will reshape the practice of law in the food sector. For example, new labelling frameworks, including front of packaging labelling and nutritional informational labelling, will change the way food is packaged, sold and consumed in Canada. At the same time, the CFTA and CETA have vaulted Canada and its provinces into a new era of harmonization, while proposed regulations may change food safety and other legal requirements for businesses that import food, or that prepare food for import or cross-province distribution, with implications for the health and safety of Canadians (as well as those abroad) and for the food business sector.

From November 2-4, 2017, we will bring together thought leaders and stakeholders for a three-day national conference at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law to help chart the future of food law and policy in Canada.

Together, we will ask:

  • What role does law and policy play in governing our food systems?
  • What values currently underpin our food laws and policies?
  • In what ways are food laws, policies and regulatory tools succeeding in building just, equitable, vibrant, innovative, resilient and sustainable food systems?
  • In what ways do they contribute to hunger, malnutrition, social exclusion, contamination, exploitation and environmental degradation?
  • What new developments in case law and regulation are impacting industry, producers and consumers in food systems and where is government intervention lacking?
  • How are Canada’s food laws and policies impacting food systems abroad, how are they influenced by international and transnational laws and standards and what role does Canada play in global food system governance?
  • How can improved food laws and policies address failures in food system governance and what do these improved laws and policies look like?

Practitioners, scholars, policymakers, adjudicators, activists, students and other thought leaders are invited to submit individual- presentation or group-panel proposals of no more than 300 words on any topic related to the conference theme by June 9, 2017 to conference@foodlaw.ca. While conference papers will not be required, they are encouraged and will be published on the conference website. Any questions may be sent to the same address. We look forward to working with our partners in developing this exciting event, and to welcoming participants to Ottawa in November.

 

Not sure your content is suitable for this call?
Click here to see our 2016 program and speakers.

 

Practicing Lawyer?

In 2016 we offered 12 hours of accredited CPD Content on food law, delivered by top practitioners from Canada and the United States. Our interdisciplinary event enabled attendees to reach and to learn from a diverse group of policymakers, industry, and jurists.

Non-legal Scholar or Advocate?

This conference linked scholars with expertise in food sciences, public health, nutrition, environmental sciences, and many other disciplines with legal actors and scholars, providing a unique forum to present food research from a legal perspective.

From Industry, Government, or an NGO?

Our 2016 event provided attendees with critical legal perspectives and forecasts on current and upcoming challenges to our food systems. Attendees also gained insight on how actions by regulators, industry or non-state actors were changing our food laws and policies.
 

Legal Scholar or Jurist?

Our first conference created a network of food law scholars from 8 provinces and 7 countries. Our interdisciplinary event created an opportunity for scholars to engage with system actors and develop opportunities for policy entrepreneurship.

 
 

Canada's Second Annual Food Law & Policy Conference

2-4 November, Ottawa, ON

Without a doubt, law and legal actors—including lawyers, researchers, policy makers, adjudicators, advocacy organizations and others—already occupy influential positions in the food space. But these actors frequently approach food systems from a particular discipline or perspective, such as agriculture, health and safety, regulation and innovation, poverty and social justice, or environmental planning. As a result, food law and policy in Canada has yet to develop around a clear understanding of its participants or its diverse sites of action. The second annual conference of its kind, Taking Stock: The State of Food Law and Policy in Canada provides an important opportunity to reflect on the current state of food laws and policies in Canada and strategize about how to improve them.

This conference comes at a critical juncture for Canada’s food systems and the laws and policies that govern them. After years of lobbying by civil society, the Trudeau government, led by the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, has begun to draft a National Food Policy. The federal government is also in the process of revising the Canada Food Guide and the Safe Food for Canadians Act. At the same time, the Innovation and Skills Plan, established as part of the 2017 federal budget, “has set an ambitious target to grow Canada’s agri-food exports to at least $75 billion annually by 2025”. This year also marks the 5th anniversary of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food’s assessment of Canada’s food system and recommendations for improving governance to realize the right to food for all. This conference provides an important opportunity for civil society and the legal community to contribute to the ongoing re-thinking and redesigning of our food systems.

The objectives of the conference are to:

  • Provide the expertise, knowledge and innovative thinking to assist the government to strategically develop effective, sustainable and fair food law and policy in Canada;
  • Connect government policy makers with experienced academics, practitioners and experts in civil society;
  • Analyze and strategize on long-standing issues of food injustice, oppression, sovereignty and hunger in Canada;
  • Include Indigenous, gendered, and other marginalized perspectives in the dialogue;
  • Address emerging issues arising from technologies and other innovations in this area;
  • Examine new developments in case law and regulation that are impacting industry, producers, and consumers’
  • Consider the relationship between Canadian food law and policy and international law and trade, including the question of how economic, health, social justice, and environmental goals can be reconciled in terms of global food systems governance;
  • Contribute to the establishment and growth of a network of experts and a research agenda on “Food Law” in Canada – we will hold a workshop on building a national Food Law and Policy Association to ensure continued interactions of the network of scholars and experts beyond the annual conference;
  • Produce concrete, practicable proposals for the current evolution of food law and policy in Canada;
  • Enhance the teaching of food law in Canada – we will hold a workshop on Teaching Food Law and will gather sample curricula, with a view to exchanging best practices and documenting various approaches and teaching tools into an accessible online resource.

Our program and speakers list will be available soon. 

We look forward to welcoming participants to Ottawa in November.

 
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When is the Conference?

The conference will be held Thursday, November 2nd, 2017, to Saturday, November 4th, 2017.


Who Should Attend?

The conference is primarily geared towards legal practitioners, researchers and policy developers looking to contribute to the conversation around food law and policy in Canada.

That being said, we can’t emphasize enough how valuable the voices of all stakeholders will be in having a well-rounded discussion in this area. If you fit any of these categories, definitely consider joining:

  • Are you a food producer or manufacturer who sees inefficiencies in the regulations that impact your day-to-day and bottom line? 
  • Do you work in farming, fishing, the restaurant industry, or any other area that gives you a unique perspective on food law and policy development and an idea for how Canada can improve?
  • Are you a not-for-profit focused on food security, sustainable food production or food waste in Canada or a consumer passionate about how your purchasing impacts the food system? 

Is the Conference Accredited by Law societies?

Like last year, we will apply for CPD/CLE in all provinces that require an annual/biannual CPD plan. More specific details will follow later in the year. 


Who is Speaking?

The conference program will be available soon. Check back to this space for updates!


Where is the Conference?

The conference will be held in Ottawa, ON. Exact locations will be available soon. 

 

How Can I Register and
What is Included?

Online conference registration will be available later in August 2017.

 


How Can My Organization Become a Conference Sponsor?

We welcome sponsorships, both in the form of cash and in kind contributions. Please contact us at conference@foodlaw.ca for more information about how we can collaborate with your organization.


We are currently signing up interested volunteers HERE. Our Volunteer Coordinator will be in touch in September 2017. If you have any questions, please contact Angela Lee at angela.lee@uottawa.ca.

How Can I Volunteer?


Where Should I Stay?

The conference will secure preferential rates at several different hotels for conference participants and attendees. More information will follow as it it available. 

Some options include:

Fairmont Chateau Laurier
The Westin Ottawa
Sheraton Ottawa
Marriott Ottawa
Novotel Ottawa
Lord Elgin


This is a Food Law Conference: Where Should I Eat?


What is the Cancellation Policy?

If you cancel thirty (30) days prior to the date of the event, we will refund 50% of your registration fee. 

Unfortunately, any cancellations within 30 days of the event are not eligible for a refund (barring mitigating circumstances).


More Questions?

Contact us at conference@foodlaw.ca and we will do our best to direct your question.

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Brief Background to Taking Stock: The State of Food Law and Policy in Canada

 

This conference continues the momentum generated from the first annual conference on Canadian food law and policy, held last year at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. Bringing together academics, lawyers in the public and private sectors, policy makers, food producers, and civil society groups and advocates, this conference aims to assess our progress on food laws and policies in Canada, and to develop specific proposals on how to improve them. This conference will have real social impact in two ways: by gathering experts on food law and policy for dialogue and community building, it will help food law and policy in Canada expand and develop in a coordinated, focused way to deal with the many challenges it faces. Secondly, the resulting proposals for new food laws and policies will have a direct impact on food producers, distributors and consumers, in Canada and in the many countries with whom Canada engages in food trade.

The conference's Executive Organizing Committee is comprised of: 

Taking Stock: The State of Food Law and Policy in Canada is hosted by the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, and is supported by our generous sponsors.  

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