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Conference Overview

Held annually in Ottawa for seven years, this conference has become the premier national policy outlook for the agri-food sector. The theme of this year's conference was strategies for competitive and nimble food supply chains. A blend of presentations from distinguished scholars, industry stakeholders and government officials highlighted critical issues and potential policy solutions facing the agriculture and agri-food system in Canada today. Attendees were given the opportunity to network with numerous stakeholders from the North American agri-food sector and learn about various supply chain related issues.

Canada is in the last year of the Growing Forward II policy framework negotiated between the federal Minister of Agriculture and the provincial Ministers 5 years ago. This is a time for discussing new initiatives for making our supply chains more competitive to take advantage of emerging markets and nimble in terms of their ability to address threats and opportunities arising from disruption in supply chains. The focus of the 2016 conference was on being ready to take advantage of improving market access as it develops. In 2017 Professor Swinnen opened the conference with his ideas about the role of policy to address some of the threats and opportunities for Canadian food supply chains. Issues explored by other sessions included disruptions caused by consumer concerns, new technologies, data needs, logistic shocks and effective policy responses.


The seventh annual agri-food policy conference was held in Ottawa at the Château Laurier
from January 11-13, 2017.

Hosted by:

Cdn Agricultural Economics Society

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PDFAgenda - Printer-friendly version

Wednesday, January 11
13:00-15:00 Workshop on Food and Agribusiness | FULL AGENDA BELOW
(Organized by Statistics Canada)

Statistics Canada will hold a pre-conference workshop on Food and Agribusiness. Analysts will present a range of topics related to data on supply chain from food processing, specific industry supply chain, transportation and household food spending. Presentations will also cover access to firm level data for research and method used to measure the economic impacts of shocks and disruption.

15:30-17:30 AAFC Student Workshop on Employment and Research Collaboration Opportunities
(Organized by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

Students will learn what AAFC does, tools available, types of analysis, and how it is used, as well as salary and benefits. A panel of managers from across the public service will talk about the various types of jobs available, the skills required, and what they look for in a candidate when deciding who to hire. They will also learn about the policy process works in theory versus in practice and undergo a real-life policy challenge to be completed by the end of the conference.

Collaborative research opportunities: Students looking for a research topic or the use of better data or tools to complete their research will find out about how they can work with an AAFC analyst and use the tools available to AAFC researchers to complete mutually beneficial research.

AAFC Policy Brief Competition. Students attending the workshop are invited to participate in a policy brief competition that will take place during the conference starting January 11, 2017. Further details below.

18:00-20:00 Meet & Greet Reception
Includes conference packet pick-up
Thursday, January 12
8:45 Welcome Comments
Derek Brewin, CAES Past-President | Read Bio





Keynote Session 1: Policies for an Agile Value Chain
(Sponsored by the Institute for the Advanced Study of Food and Agricultural Policy)

Chair: Alan Ker, CAES President, University of Guelph
| Read Bio

Johan Swinnen from the University of Leuven will be discussing historical cases of major supply chain disruptions and the strategic lessons they generate. | Read Bio





Keynote Session 2: Agile Value Chains in a Canadian Context

Chair: Alan Ker, CAES President, University of Guelph | Read Bio

Jill Hobbs from the University of Saskatchewan will discuss some recent Canadian supply challenges and lessons from her research into supply chain management. | Read Bio







Session 1: Recent Value Chain Disruptions
(Sponsored by CAPI)

This panel session will focus on recent supply chain disruptions. Invitations have gone out to industry and government representatives who can describe recent supply chain disruptions related to: the acceptance of GMO products, market access, logistic shocks and new technology.

Chair: David McInnes, CAPI | Read Bio


  Gordon Kurbis, Pulse Canada | Read Bio
SlidesspacerYouTube Brenna Grant, CanFax Research Services | Read Bio
Slidesspacer Stavroula Malla, University of Lethbridge | Read Bio







Session 2: Policy Responses to Disruptions
(Sponsored by CAPI)

This panel session will discuss responses to the disruptions explored earlier in the day and consider alternatives with a focus on the role of regulators. Recent trends in consumer acceptance and effective strategies to meet their needs will also be discussed.

Chair: Richard Gray, University of Saskatchewan, CAPI Director | Read Bio


SlidesspacerYouTube Ellen Goddard, University of Alberta | Read Bio
SlidesspacerYouTube Blair Coomber, Coomber Consulting | Read Bio
SlidesspacerYouTube Giuliano Tolusso, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Read Bio
17:30-19:30 Wine & Cheese and Annual Policy Poster Contest
Friday, January 13

Session 3 : Data and Information Needed for Effective Value Chains

Our final panel session will be comprised of speakers with expertise in data needs for effective supply chains and current suppliers of strategic supply chain data.

Chair: Kara Beckles, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Read Bio


SlidesspacerYouTube Martin Beaulieu, Statistics Canada | Read Bio
SlidesspacerYouTube Mark Hemmes, Quorum Corporation | Read Bio
SlidesspacerYouTube Vonnie Estes, Caribou Biosciences | Read Bio
10:15-10:30 Top Three Poster Contest Presentations



Keynote Session 3: Reconfiguring Canadian agriculture in the cyber age

Chair: Brian Innes, Canola Council of Canada | Read Bio

SlidesspacerYouTube Peter W.B. Phillips, Distinguished Professor with the Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan, will present preliminary field research on the economic and institutional transformation in the Canadian agri-food sector as well as discuss a range of policy issues that arise from the new configuration of value. | Read Bio
11:55-12:15 Closing Comments and Contest Prizes
Alan Ker, CAES President | Read Bio

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Statistics Canada Workshop

Statistics Canada will hold a pre-conference workshop on Food and Agribusiness. Analysts will present a range of topics related to data on supply chain from food processing, specific industry supply chain, transportation and household food spending. Presentations will also cover access to firm level data for research and method used to measure the economic impacts of shocks and disruption.


Labillois An overview of the Annual Survey of Manufacturing and some Results
related to Agri-Food for 2015

Tony Labillois, Joanne Moreau, David Routliffe, Manufacturing and Wholesale
Da Pont Data Sources and Trends for Food Retail and Food Services and Drinking Places
Moreno Da Pont, Retail and Service Industries
Scrim Sources of Grain Transportation Data
Michael Scrim, David Evans, Environment, Energy and Transportation Statistics
Charest Canadian food expenditures, Survey of Household Spending
Julie Charest, Isabelle Marchand, Income Statistics
Alasia Analysis of Chicken Industry Supply Chain
Alessandro Alasia, Centre for Special Business Projects
Trau nput Output Models for Agriculture and Agri-Food Industries
Andreas Trau, Industry Accounts

Accessing data in the Centre for Data Development and Economic Research
Afshan Dar-Brodeur, Economic Analysis


AAFC Student Workshop - Jan 11, 3:30-5:30 PM

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will host a student workshop prior to the official conference start that will include the following sessions:

  • Come and learn some of the reasons why AAFC is a great place to work as an economic researcher, what we do, the tools we have available, types of analysis, how it is used, salary and benefits, and more...
  • A panel of managers from across the public service will talk about the various types of jobs available, the skills required, and what they look for in a candidate when deciding who to hire
  • The policy process: How it works in theory versus in practice - this session will include a policy challenge to students to be completed by the end of the conference.
  • Collaborative research opportunities - are you looking for a research topic or the use of better data or tools to complete your current research? Learn about how you can come and work with one of our analysts and use what AAFC researchers have available to do some mutually beneficial research.


2017 CAPC - AAFC Policy Brief Competition Winners

Left to Right: 2nd Place - Kathryn Forrester, University of Saskatchewan; 1st Place - Emilie Zentner, University of Alberta; 3rd Place - Chi Su, University of Saskatchewan


Registration Details

CAES Member
CAES Student Member
Group (5 or more)


The student registration rate ($200) is only available to CAES Student Members. Students who are not members can add CAES Student Membership to their conference registration. The CAES Student Membership fee is $30.


The Non-Member conference registration fee is $450. Non-members have the option to become members of the CAES at the time of registration and pay the discounted CAES Member registration rate of $300.


Groups of 5 or more from the same employer are eligible for a discounted group rate ($325 per person). Please contact valcaes@telus.net for information.

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Research Poster Competition


2017 Research Poster Winners

Left to Right: 2nd Place - Kathryn Forrester, University of Saskatchewan; 3rd Place -
Emilie Bassi, University of Alberta; 1st Place - Emilie Zentner, University of Alberta


The top three finalists presented their research live in front of the audience for 3 minutes each on Friday morning. The top presenter (Emilie Zentner, University of Alberta) will receive a trip to the 2017 CAES Annual Meeting in Montreal, QC, June 18-21, including airfare (to a maximum of $1000), registration, and 3 hotel nights in at the Delta Montreal Hotel. Cash prizes are awarded to the second ($300; Kathryn Forrester, University of Saskatchewan) and third ($200; Emilie Bassi, University of Alberta) place winners.


Research Poster Abstracts ALL Research Poster Abstracts - English and French
Poster Abstract - Chi Su An Agent Based Simulation of Farm Succession and Farmland Valuation | Chi Su, Dr. Richard Schoney and Dr. James Nolan; University of Saskatchewan
Poster Abstract - Forrester Canada’s Changing International Trade Landscape – Opportunities, Threats and Forgone Opportunities for the Beef Industry | Kathryn Forrester and Dr. William A. Kerr; University of Saskatchewan
Poster Abstract - Kone Are Foreign Direct Investments in Food Processing driven by Raw Agricultural Commodities Price Volatility? | Mankan M. Koné, Carl Gaigné and Lota Tamini; Laval University
Poster Abstract - Worden Economic Feasibility of Genotyping for Feed Efficiency and Reduced Methane Emissions: Benefits and Barriers to Adoption on Canadian Dairy Farms | David Worden and Getu Hailu; University of Guelph
Poster Abstract - Chen Market Responses to Information Conveying Mixed Messages – Prediction of Informational Impacts on Consumer Willingness to Pay for Eggs from Welfare Enhanced Cage Systems using Discrete Choice Experiment | Chen Chen, Ying (Jessica) Cao and John Cranfield; University of Guelph
Poster Abstract - Zhenhau Sun Which Drives More in Business Performance: Differentiating the Effects of Risk-Aversion and Overconfidence about Risk on Business Performance among Agricultural Enterprises | Zhenhua Sun and Ying (Jessica) Cao; University of Guelph and University of New York at Buffalo
Poster Abstract - Yang Yang Deconstructing Consumers’ Acceptance of Novel Food Technologies: Role of Cultural Value and Information Format | Yang Yang and Dr. Jill Hobbs; University of Saskatchewan
Poster Abstract - Zentner Does the River Flow Upstream? A Meta-Analysis of Benefit Distributions of Biotechnology Crops | Emilie Zentner, Sven Anders and Matty Demont; University of Alberta and International Rice Research Institute
Poster Abstract - Bassi The Producers’ Perspective: Constraints to Farm Animal Welfare Policy Implementation in Alberta | Emilie Bassi, Dr. John Parkins and Dr. Ellen Goddard; University of Alberta
Poster Abstract - Jiang Innovation, Climate, and Ontario Corn and Soybean Yield Volatilities | Yuetian Jiang and Alan Ker; University of Guelph
Poster Abstract - Atozou Meta-Analysis of Hypothetical Bias in Private and Public Goods Valuation with Declarative Methods | Baoubadi Atozou, Lota Tamini and Maurice Doyon; Laval University
Poster Abstract - Hosseini How the Decisions are made in Commodity Checkoff Programs and by Who? | Seyed Hamzeh Hosseini and Richard Gray; University of Saskatchewan
Poster Abstract - Arzandeh The Information Content of the Limit Order Book | Mehdi Arzandeh and Julieta Frank; University of Manitoba
Poster Abstract - Kouwoaye GATT/WTO Membership and Poverty | Amèvi Rocard Kouwoaye, Bruno Larue and Marilyne Huchet-Bourdon; Laval University and INRA
Poster Abstract - Pankowska The Empirical Analysis of Terroir Versus Wine Pricing Relationships - The Case of the BC VQA Wines from the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys | Kate Pankowska and Prof. Sumeet Gulati; University of British Columbia


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The conference has been annually held at the beautiful Fairmont Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa.

The hotel is located at 1 Rideau Street.

Chateau Laurier

Hotel Website

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Thank You To Our Sponsors





University of Guelph

University of Manitoba


University of Alberta

University of Saskatchewan


University Laval


Chicken Farmers of Canada

Egg Farmers of Canada



FARE Institute


Dairy Farmers of Canada



Western Producer


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About the CAES


The Canadian Agricultural Economics Society (CAES) is an association comprised of individuals with a professional interest in topics related to the economics of agriculture, food, natural resources, and the environment. CAES members include economists and other social science professionals in universities, government, non-government agencies and the private sector, and undergraduate and graduate students. CAES members include Canadians and others, in Canada and elsewhere.


The CAES provides opportunities for professional development, association and networking among individuals making contributions to solving important agricultural, food and resource problems of the day, and in anticipating new challenges and opportunities. The principal activities of the Society include: publishing the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics; convening an annual meeting to share research results and to conduct Society affairs; hosting on an annual basis a regional workshop or national conference on topics of interest to members (e.g., agricultural, food, resource policy); sponsoring awards for academic excellence, including the best theses related to agricultural, food, and resource economics at Canadian universities; and maintaining a website and Newsletter designed to facilitate the communication of information, ideas and research results by CAES members and other professionals. Members of the CAES manage the affairs of the Canadian Agricultural Economics and Farm Management Foundation.

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Conference Contact Information


Canadian Agricultural Economics Society
Rm 360, Business & Economics Building
PO Box 1700, STN CSC
University of Victoria
Victoria, BC
V8W 2Y2

Fax: 1-866-543-7613



Derek Brewin, CAES Past-President
Alan Ker, CAES President
Richard Sanchez, CAES Treasurer
Peter Boxall, CAES President-Elect


Valerie Johnson, CAES Executive Director
Kathy Larson, U Saskatchewan

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© Canadian Agricultural Economics Society 2016. All rights reserved.
2017 Agri-Food Policy Conference

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Registration Info
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StatsCan Workshop
AAFC Workshop
Poster Competition
2017 Sponsors
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About the CAES
2016 CAPC
2015 CAPC
2014 CAPC


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CAES Website