Murad Al-Katib

President, CEO and Board member of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc.


Building Canada’s Reputation: How to meet $75 billion in exports by 2025


Murad Al-Katib, President, CEO and Board member of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. A strategic business and financial thinker in an international agri-food commodity trading business, Murad founded AGT Foods in 2001, building a Canadian start-up into a global billion dollar value-added pulses, staple foods and ingredients company.

Murad serves as Chair of the Government of Canada National Agri-Food Strategy Roundtable, on the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada Board and as the Economic Development Regina Board Chair. Past Boards include the CSCA, Pulse Canada and a number of Canadian Government advisory boards and panels.

Murad’s has received a number of prestigious awards including the 2017 Saskatchewan Order of Merit, an Honorary Degree from the University of Regina recognizing his work as a humanitarian and entrepreneur, the 2017 “Oslo Business for Peace” Honouree, 2017 EY “World Entrepreneur of the Year” after being named National and Prairie Region “Entrepreneur of the Year”, 2016 UN Association of Canada “Global Citizen Laureate”, PROFITGuide Magazine’s “30 Most Fabulous Entrepreneurs of the Past 30 Years” list, the Globe & Mail “Canada’s Top 40 under 40” and the Western Producer “44 Innovators Who Shaped Prairie Agriculture”.

Rex Murphy

Social Commentator, Editorialist & Distinct Canadian Voice


Symposium Banquet Keynote Address


Canadian’s are treated to weekly commentary from Rex on CBC’s The National along with his Saturday column in the National Post. He’s also acted as an editorial contributor to CBC Radio’s Definitely Not the Opera. For over 20 years he was the host and moderator of CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup. The show brought over 1 million listeners and at times 15,000 callers wanting to join in discussions. As a speaker, Rex radiates intelligence and trustworthiness. His endearing style brings forth a sarcastic intellect and deep insight into issues affecting individuals and businesses.

Audiences can expect to be simultaneously informed and entertained by Rex’s provocative commentary. He knows what makes Canadians tick, and what drives our political and social affairs. Rex makes us important, reminds us we have culture beyond hockey. His thought-provoking, sometimes stinging commentary and original insights are delivered through a vocabulary to make Webster’s consider updating.

A Rhodes scholar, Rex was born and raised in St. John’s, Nfld., where he graduated from Memorial University. In 1968, he went to Oxford University, along with former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Rex later ran twice in provincial elections and lost both times. Maybe he was too honest?

Tyler Bjornson

President, Canada Grains Council, Ottawa, Ontario

Tyler is President of the Canada Grains Council and founder of a boutique public affairs consulting firm focused on the agriculture and food sector. He has spent the last three years providing management consulting and government relations advice to some of Canada’s largest agribusinesses and associations. His previous roles have included positions with the Government of Canada an as international trade policy specialist, negotiator and senior political advisor. Tyler put this public sector experience to work for the industry in positions at the Canola Council of Canada and, prior to his consulting career, in government relations and major project management at Viterra Inc. Tyler grew up on the family farm near Camrose, Alberta, and holds a Master of Arts with a focus on trade, economics and finance from Carleton University.

Cam Dahl

President, Cereals Canada


Perspectives On Leveraging Canada’s Reputation For Agriculture


Mr. Dahl has significant experience in Canadian agriculture. Immediately prior to joining Cereals Canada, Cam held the post of General Manager of Manitoba Beef Producers. Cam has also served as Commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission and Chair of the Board of the Canadian International Grains Institute. He has held the positions of Manager of Government Relations and Policy Development, Agricore United, Executive Director of the Grain Growers of Canada and served on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Cam has served on the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund, which is jointly funded by IDRC and Global Affairs Canada.  He has also served on the Advisory Committee for the Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership in Africa and is a past-President of the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame.

Cam holds a BSA and M. Sc. in agriculture economics from the University of Manitoba.

Gilles Gauthier

Former Minister for Economic Affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, Former Canadian Chief Agriculture Negotiator


Perspectives On Leveraging Canada’s Reputation For Agriculture


During his career in the Federal Government, Gilles Gauthier held numerous positions related to trade policy, including Minister for Economic Affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Director General, Multilateral Trade Policy at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Chief, Trade in Services, at the Department of Finance. Mr. Gauthier also served four years at the Canadian Mission to the WTO in Geneva.  During his career in trade policy, he led negotiations on agriculture in the Canada-EU FTA and at the WTO, led investment treaty negotiations with China and India, and was a member of the Government of Canada negotiating team for the NAFTA and the GATT Uruguay Round.  He also was appointed on 5 dispute settlement panels at the WTO.

Mr. Gauthier holds a degree in economics from the University of Ottawa, a master’s degree in economics from the Université de Sherbrooke and a diploma in international economic relations from the Université de Paris-IX Dauphine.


Chair of the Canada Grains Council, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario


Perspectives On Leveraging Canada’s Reputation For Agriculture


Mark Brock is Chair of the Canada Grains Council and Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. He became a delegate for the corn and soybean organizations in the two years leading up to amalgamation and was elected to the Board of GFO in January 2010. He served as vice chair from 2012 until 2015 when he was elected chair.

Brock has been involved with several committees within GFO including Research and Innovation, Wheat Marketing, and Wheat Trading. He has also been a representative for the Grain Financial Protection Board.

Brock farms 1,400 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat with a focus on a corn-soybean rotation near Staffa, Ontario. Brock is an early adopter of new farm technology and was named the Innovative Farmer of the Year in 2013 by the Innovative Farmers Association.

Brock and his wife, Sandi, have two children, Jackson and Jessica. When not working on the farm, Brock enjoys golfing and spending time with his family. He can be found on Twitter @Cropper01.

Keith Bruch

Former Vice President of Operations for Paterson GlobalFoods


Perspectives On Leveraging Canada’s Reputation For Agriculture


Keith was in the Canadian Ag Industry for over 30 years. Most recently he was the Vice President of Operations for Paterson GlobalFoods in Winnipeg. With Paterson he was responsible for Trading, Logistics, Country and Terminal Elevator assets and various Subsidiary Companies including flour milling, feed manufacturing, Seed distribution and Organic Trading. Prior to his 22 years at Paterson, Keith was the Director of Marketing and Logistics at Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, responsible for trading and transportation of their commodities.

Keith has Marketed grain and food products into 40 plus countries globally on every continent. Keith has served on the WGEA, The Winnipeg Commodity Exchange (now ICE), multiple Transportation Review Panels and various Boards over his career.

Keith retired from Paterson this past June and began a new career in Sales Training, Management Coaching when he purchased the Canadian Master Franchise for Sandler Training. Sandler is a Global Training Company with operations in 32 countries. Keith and his wife Alexandra who is recently retired from Richardson International, now have 18 Franchises across Canada and are happily working at not being retired ….just re directed .

Don MacKenzie

Regulatory Affairs and Stewardship Leader, International Rice Research Institute


Is Public Trust and Innovation Compatible? The Case of Golden Rice


Dr. Donald MacKenzie leads regulatory affairs and stewardship for the Golden Rice Project on behalf of the International Rice Research Institute and is responsible for developing and executing regulatory strategies to continue the timely advancement of Golden Rice in Bangladesh and the Philippines.  Prior to taking on this assignment, Dr. MacKenzie was a global registration manager and regulatory leader for Canada on behalf of DuPont Pioneer.  Over his career, Dr. MacKenzie has held government posts with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research Branch, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada.  After leaving government, Dr. MacKenzie was involved with numerous US Agency for International Development funded agricultural biotechnology projects that focused on working with various governments, regulatory authorities, and biotechnology stakeholders in Africa, South and Southeast Asia to develop science-based policies and the technical capacity of scientists and regulators to conduct risk assessments.

Pierre Petelle

President and CEO, CropLife Canada


Canada’s Ability To Continue to Innovate: Overcoming Global Trade And Regulatory Hurdles


Pierre Petelle is the president and CEO of CropLife Canada, the trade association that represents the Canadian manufacturers, developers and distributors of pest control products and plants with novel traits. In this role, Pierre is responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of the association.
CropLife Canada’s goals include improving public confidence in our members’ technologies, facilitating a positive regulatory environment, ensuring proper stewardship of our industry’s products and building collaborative stakeholder relationships.

Pierre joined CropLife Canada in 2008 and a few years later was appointed vice-president of chemistry, making him responsible for leading one of two main business lines at CropLife Canada.
Prior to joining CropLife Canada, Pierre worked in the policy office at Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. In that role he worked on a wide range of issues relevant to Canada’s plant science industry. Pierre has also worked in the structural pest control industry and holds degrees from Carleton University and the University of Guelph.

Krista Thomas

Director of Plant Innovation, Canada Grains Council


Canada’s Ability to Continue to Innovate: Overcoming Global Trade and Regulatory Hurdles


Krista Thomas is the Director of Plant Innovation with the Canada Grains Council (CGC), an organization of grain industry interests, representing producers, crop input companies, grain companies, and grain processors. The Council works to coordinate and improve dialogue within industry and between industry and governments.

Prior to joining the CGC, Krista held various positions with the Canadian federal government, including with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as the National Manager of the Plant Biosafety Office, responsible for regulating the environmental release of plants with novel traits. Krista also worked at the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council, a body that enhances economic competitiveness by aligning regulatory systems, while maintaining protection for health, safety and the environment.  Krista holds an M.Sc. in plant agriculture from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Craig Rickard

Executive Director, Plant Biotechnology, CropLife International


Canada’s Ability to Continue to Innovate: Overcoming Global Trade and Regulatory Hurdles


Craig Rickard manages CropLife International’s plant biotechnology programs and is based in Washington, D.C. His mission is to enable the availability and use of plant biotech innovations globally, and increase the appreciation of the benefits the technology can bring to the agricultural value chain, consumers, and the environment.  As Executive Director for Plant Biotechnology, he directs CropLife International’s plant biotech team and global network in its efforts to achieve industry’s regulatory, trade, intellectual property, stewardship, and acceptance goals.

Rickard previously served as CropLife International’s Director of Emerging Markets Advocacy.  Prior to that, he served as Manager of Government Relations at Agrium; Policy Advisor to the Federal Minister of Agriculture in Canada; and as a Commercial Agriculture Lender for TD Bank.

He has a Commerce Degree in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and maintains ties with his family-operated farm in Canada.

Gretchen Flanley

Gretchen Flanley, President and owner, Sherpa 360


Canada’s Ability To Continue to Innovate: Overcoming Global Trade And Regulatory Hurdles


Gretchen Flanley, president and owner of Sherpa 360, LLC, has over 20 years experience in international agricultural and technical programs, expertise in strategic program design, implementation and evaluation and executive leadership in seed industry association communications strategies and tactics. In her career, Ms. Flanley served as an advisor and counsel to high-level U.S. government representatives and was a conduit relating meaningful explanations and practical solutions between technical experts and policy makers and diplomats within bilateral and multilateral negotiations.  She has held positions with U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Grains Council, American Seed Trade Association and Bunge Corporation.  Launched in 2009, Sherpa 360 offers extensive insight and knowledge of the agricultural value-chain, specifically in agricultural policy, trade and marketing as well as seed innovation policy, biotechnology regulatory development, crop protect products, and risk assessment and management.

Gretchen grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, USA, and worked for many years in a greenhouse operation.  A graduate of West Virginia University, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.   After 14 years in Washington, DC, Gretchen returned to her hometown where she currently resides with her son and enjoys being back with extended family.

Bobby Ariyanot

Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, Indofood Sukses Makmur, Bogasari


Canada’s Reputation As A Trusted Grain Supplier: A Customer Perspective – Bogasari


Mr. Ariyanot has 20 years experience in the flour milling industry in Indonesia joining PT. Indofood Sukses Makmur, Bogasari Division in 1997.  As Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, he is involved in supply chain management, operations, project engineering as well as quality and product development.

Mr. Ariyanot holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Indonesia and a Diploma in Milling Technology from the Swiss School of Milling, Switzerland.

Soon Bin-Neoh

Managing Director, Soon Soon Oilmills


Canada’s Reputation As A Trusted Grain Supplier: A Customer Perspective – Soon Soon Oilmills


Dr. Soon Bin-Neoh is the Managing Director of the Soon Soon Group of Companies, an integrated grain, oilseed, feed and oil processing business based in Malaysia. The company was established in 1978 and imports wheat, soybeans, corn, sunflower and canola from around the world including from Canada.  Dr. Neoh has a PhD from University College London and did post doctorate research at the University of Chicago.

Peter Phillips

Professor and Founding Director of the Johnson-Shoyama Center for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy at the University of Saskatchewan


Public Trust, Academia & Industry: How Close Is Too Close?


Dr. Phillips is Distinguished Professor and Founding Director of the Johnson-Shoyama Center for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. He earned his Ph.D. at the LSE and practiced for 13 years as a professional economist in industry and government. At USask he was the Van Vliet Research Professor, created and held an NSERC-SSHRC Chair in Managing Technological Change in Agriculture, was director of the virtual College of Biotechnology, was founding director of the JSGS and is founding director of CSIP. He has had appointments at the LSE, OECD, European University Institute in Florence, University of Edinburgh and University of Western Australia. He was a founding member of the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee and was on the boards of Canadian Agri-food Policy Institute, Pharmalytics and Ag-West Bio Inc. He has held >15 peer-reviewed grants worth >$250 million and is author/editor of 15 books, >60 journal articles and >55 book chapters.

Vance Crowe

Director of Millennial Engagement, Monsanto

PRESENTATION: Panel Moderator

Future Reputation: Do Millennials Distrust Big Ag?


Vance Crowe is the Director of Millennial Engagement at Monsanto in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Vance is a former Communications Strategist for the World Bank Group, a returned U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in Kenya, a former communications coordinator at an NPR station in Northern California and was a deckhand on an eco-tourism ship that traveled in the Western Hemisphere.

Vance holds an undergraduate degree in communications and sociology from Marquette University and a Master’s Degree in Cross-Cultural Negotiations from the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy.

Vance lives in Saint Louis with his wife Annie, dog Tiamat (pronounced Tie-eh-mat).

Connect with Vance on twitter @VanceCrowe

Michelle Erickson Jones

President, Montana Grain Growers Association, farmer and blogger BigSkyFarmHer

Michelle Erickson Jones is a fourth generation farmer from South Central Montana. Michelle, along with her father, Bart, and husband, Travis, raise wheat, malt barley, sunflower, safflower, corn, alfalfa, and forage grains. Michelle and Travis also operate a small cow/calf operation. Michelle previously worked for UPS and Amazon.com. Michelle manages her blog called BigSkyFarmHer as well as her various social media accounts under the same name. Michelle has two Masters in Business Administration – specializing in Operations Management and Mediation/Dispute Resolution. Michelle is also the current President of the Montana Grain Growers Association as well as a Board of Director for the National Association of Wheat Growers. Michelle and Travis also have two little farm boys, ages 1 and 2 1/2.


Media Registered Dietitian (RD), Founder of Abbey's Kitchen


Do Millennials Trust Big Ag?

Abbey Sharp is a Media Registered Dietitian (RD), national TV spokesperson, YouTuber, food writer and blogger, recipe developer, and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc. Abbey is a regular contributor to TV shows (like Marilyn Denis Show), print (Ricardo Magazine, Best Health Magazine) and online publications (Greatist, Shape & Fitness Magazine), her Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/AbbeysKitchen and her acclaimed food blog. Abbey’s first Penguin cookbook, Mindful Glow, is due in stores December 2018.

Becky Parker

Project & Partnership Strategist, AgScape


Future Reputation: Do Millennials Distrust Big Ag?


Becky Parker is Project and Partnership Strategist with AgScape and is currently on secondment to Agriculture in the Classroom Canada as their Ag Careers Program Manager. Prior to joining AgScape in 2011, she worked in herd health roles at the Arkell Research Station of the University of Guelph and for Agricorp in their Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization Program.

Becky is a certified teacher who holds a Bachelor’s of Applied Science from the University of Guelph, and a Masters of Education from York University.

In 2015, she received a Nuffield Canada Agricultural Research Scholarship (www.nuffield.ca). She travelled the globe researching models of agriculture career education. Her report is entitled Inspiring Gen Z to Consider Careers in Agriculture and FoodBecky is now the Vice Chair of Nuffield Canada.

Twitter: @becky_parker_2

Curtis Rempel

Vice President, Crop Production and Innovation, Canola Council of Canada


Cross Commodity Check-Up: What’s New In Sustainability In Soybeans And Canola?


Dr. Rempel is responsible for directing the Crop Production team agronomists and staff with a mandate to optimize profitability for producers and the supply chains they serve while minimizing production risk; developing research priorities for canola production, oil and meal utilization; developing sustainability and production stewardship guidelines; liaising between producers, industry and academia to optimize extension activity; managing the coordination of the trials and budget for the Western Canada Canola/Rapeseed Recommending Committee and the Canola Performance Trials; monitoring and managing issues related to domestic and global biotechnology acceptance and regulation; and representing Canadian canola’s interests with industry and professional groups.

Dr. Rempel was raised on a farm specializing in dairy and special crops in Manitoba and is still involved with commercial farm production. He holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Manitoba, a PhD from the University of Guelph, and an MBA from Athabasca University/University of Guelph. Prior to joining the Council, Dr. Rempel has worked as a research scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; has taught at numerous universities and community  colleges;  and  has  operated  his  own consulting  company  for  10 years, primarily providing business and marketing strategy and scientific counsel to Fortune 500 companies. He worked for eight years in R&D, corporate finance and business strategy and development at Monsanto; as a senior consultant for Meyers, Norris, Penny focusing on commodity marketing, renewable energy, intellectual property protection, enterprise software applications, and scientific competitiveness; and most recently as the Business Development Manager at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals, Department of Food Science, University of Manitoba. He is also an adjunct faculty member in Dept. of Food Science

J.P. Gervais

Vice-President and Chief Agricultural Economist, Farm Credit Canada


Outlook For Canadian Crops In A Global Context


J.P. Gervais is Vice-President and Chief Agricultural Economist, Farm Credit Canada. He has over 20 years of experience analyzing domestic and international agricultural policies and markets, and his insights help guide strategy and monitor risk throughout the corporation. He’s frequently a featured speaker at national and international conferences, addressing global trends and the linkages to agri-food markets. In addition to acting as an FCC spokesperson on economic matters, J.P. provides commentary on the agriculture industry through videos and the FCC Ag Economics blog. Prior to joining FCC in 2010, J.P. was a professor of agricultural economics at North Carolina State University and Laval University. He also held the Canada Research Chair in Agri-Industries and International Trade at Laval. J.P. is Past-President of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society. He obtained his Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University in 1999.

Murray Hamilton

Assistant Vice President, Grain & Fertilizer Sales & Marketing Team, Canadian Pacific


Cross-Country Check-Up: Improving On The Reliability Of Western Rail Logistics


Murray Hamilton serves as Assistant VP Grain & Fertilizer, in Canadian Pacific’s Sales & Marketing team.  Murray has responsibility for CP’s North American marketing and sales efforts for the grain and fertilizer portfolio.

He has 31 years of experience with Canadian Pacific.  His career with CP started in 1986 when he joined the Intermodal Marketing & Sales team in Edmonton, AB.  Murray has had assignments in Toronto (2), Calgary (2), Detroit, Winnipeg and most recently again in Winnipeg in his current capacity.  Through his career Murray has held progressive leadership roles in Canadian Pacific’s Intermodal, Merchandise and Bulk lines of business.

A graduate from the University of Alberta, Murray is married and has two daughters.

Nicole Mackellar

Manager, Market Development, Grain Farmers of Ontario


Cross Commodity Check-Up: What’s New In Sustainability In Soybeans And Canola?


Nicole Mackellar is the Manager, Market Development for Grain Farmers of Ontario. She obtained her Honours B.A from McMaster University specializing in Economics and Psychology.

Nicole has worked in the marketing industry for the past 10 years including the past 7 in agriculture where she works to define strategic opportunities for Ontario barley, corn, oats, soybeans and wheat. She is a 2017 Nuffield Scholar and is a member of the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association.

As part of her responsibilities, Nicole works on the promotion of Ontario grains in export markets. She has participated in several international trade missions to South America, Europe, Japan and South East Asia to foster relationships with importers and processors.

Prior to joining Grain Farmers of Ontario, Nicole worked in the Sports Marketing industry with Canada’s only major league baseball team.

Nicole is an active member of her family’s row crop farm in Southwestern Ontario growing, corn, soybeans and wheat.

Duncan Wilson

Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility,Vancouver Fraser Port Authority


Cross-Country Check-Up, Western Canada: Investing In The Future Of The Grain Sector


As vice president, corporate social responsibility, Mr. Wilson leads Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s environmental programs, aboriginal relations, communications and community engagement functions.

With more than 20 years of experience working in communications, public engagement and marketing, Mr. Wilson also has a distinguished track record of community leadership, having served three consecutive terms as Commissioner on the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, including three years as Chair of the Board.

Mr. Wilson currently serves as Immediate Past Chair and Governor of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He is also director of the Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping, as well as Canada Place Corporation. He previously served on the boards of the Vancouver Aboriginal Skills and Employment Program, Vancouver Public Library, Downtown Vancouver Association, and Hastings Park Conservancy. Mr. Wilson is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Mr. Wilson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and Certificate in Liberal Arts from Simon Fraser University, and a post-graduate Diploma in Financial Strategy from the University of Oxford. He is also a graduate of the University of Oxford’s Advanced Leadership and Management Program.

Susie Miller

Executive Director of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops


Cross Commodity Check-Up, Maintaining Trust: Sustainability Metrics Platform


Susie Miller is the Executive Director of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops.  Susie has worked extensively with the Canadian agriculture and food industry, with over 30 years of experience with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  In her last position with AAFC she was the Director-General responsible for departmental interface with industry associations, including the establishment and managing of the Value Chain Roundtables.

Comprised of grower, industry, customer and consumer organizations, the CRSC is a national, industry-led forum engaging value chain stakeholders in assessing and responding to marketplace demands and showcasing Canada’s agriculture sustainability performance. The centrepiece of the CRSC work is a Metrics Platform that will provide social responsibility, environmental sustainability and financial viability measurements for Canadian grains production.  The Metrics Platform is scheduled to be launched in early 2018.

Ian Hamilton

President & CEO, Hamilton Port Authority


Cross-Country Check-Up, Eastern Canada: Investing In The Future Of The Grain Sector

Ian Hamilton is President & CEO of the Hamilton Port Authority. He assumed this role in January 2017, after serving as the Hamilton Port Authority’s Vice President of Business Development and Real Estate since 2008. Ian has been instrumental in the Port’s success in attracting more than $300M in external investment, with two-thirds of this total in the agri-food sector.

Ian possesses more than 25 years of experience in international transportation and logistics in Europe and North America, and has held progressively senior positions in the liner shipping industry, including Transatlantic Trade Director (Europe) for CP Ships and Business Development Manager for Hapag-Lloyd. Ian holds an MBA from Aston University (UK) and a BSc in business administration and economics from the College of Charleston, South Carolina.

Ian is a Charter Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport North America, and currently serves as President of the Ontario Marine Transportation Forum.


John Wilkinson

John Wilkinson,Senior Vice President of Sustainability, Greenfield Global


Prospects For Biorefining In Eastern Canada


Mr. Wilkinson oversees the integration of sustainability into Greenfield’s strategic direction, expansion, and operations. He ensures that Greenfield’s agenda is strategically aligned with government policy within Canada, the United States and other jurisdictions. John is also responsible for supporting the company’s advanced biofuel and renewable energy commercialization efforts by proactively fostering relationships with academia, NGO’s and technology collaborators.

He has served on Greenfield’s Board of Directors since 2014 and is an Advisory Board member of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy. Of note, prior to joining Greenfield, John was elected as a Member of the Ontario Legislature from 2003 – 2011 and served as Minister of Research & Innovation, Minister of Revenue and Minister of the Environment. As a key member of Cabinet, he was instrumental in ushering in a wave of Ontario clean tech policies & programs.

Emilio Ferrari

Group Supply Chain Purchasing Director Durum Wheat & Semolina, Barilla


Challenges for Canada’s Reputation as a Supplier of High Quality Durum in Italy


Emilio Ferrari is the Group Durum Wheat Purchasing Director for durum wheat and semolina for Barilla Group Food Company, the biggest user of durum wheat in the world.

Mr. Ferrari has extensive experience in the cereals market, specifically for common wheat, rye and durum and has presented at several international conferences dedicated to the cereal trade. In June 2012 for example, Mr. Ferrari spoke at the International Grain Council.

Mr. Ferrari currently coordinates Barilla Group’s durum purchasing strategy worldwide. Emilio developed a deep knowledge of the European common wheat futures market which included durum wheat, through his support of the development of Agrex Durum Wheat Futures Exchange in Milan. Emilio also closely collaborates with the agriculture programs at the universities of Tuscia, Bologna and Piacenza as well as the National Research Council of Italy located in Florence to study the application and  improvement of contract farming in the durum wheat markets as well as to study the use of more sustainable cultivation practices in durum wheat crops.

Emilio is a member of the Italian Milling Association and President of the European Bureau of Semouliers where he represents the European durum wheat milling industry.

Emilio holds a Master of Science in Agriculture from  the University of Piacenza  and started his career with a cereal seed company before joining Barilla as a buyer.

Gordon Bacon

Chief Executive Officer, Pulse Canada


Concurrent Session on Pulse


Gordon Bacon is the Chief Executive Officer of Pulse Canada and the Canadian Special Crops Association (CSCA). Both organizations are not-for-profit national associations.  These organizations share broad objectives of increasing the competitiveness of Canadian growers, processors and exporters of pulse crops, and increasing the utilization of pulses and special crops in a wide range of food products. Canada has grown to be the world’s largest exporter of pulse crops accounting for more than 35% of global pulse trade to 150 countries.

Before becoming Pulse Canada’s first staff member in 1997, and taking on the responsibilities of CEO of the CSCA in 2006, Mr. Bacon worked at the Canadian Wheat Board for seven years. He has served as Senior Policy Advisor to a Cabinet Minister in Ottawa and has held various positions working in the field of crop production. Mr. Bacon graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan and has a Saskatchewan farm background.

Marcus Mitchell

Vice President, Investment Management, Bonnefield Financial Inc.

Marcus serves as Bonnefield’s Vice President – Investment Management, holding primary responsibility for the investment strategy and underwriting for all of Bonnefield’s managed investments, inclusive of deal selection, leasing oversight, due diligence, and portfolio construction. Marcus joined Bonnefield in 2011 and since then has assumed ever greater responsibility within the organization. Marcus has played a key role in advancing Bonnefield’s understanding of the drivers of performance in agricultural investments, and building Bonnefield’s investment practice to reflect the organization’s core principles and investment philosophy. Marcus is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations.