McGill conference tackles global food crisis

June 19, 2008

The world is currently facing one of its most serious challenges in ensuring there is enough food for everyone. Changing dietary and food consumption patterns, rising energy prices, climate change, and dramatic natural events like floods and storms are all contributing to critical food shortages and sharply higher prices. As prices have risen, market forces have also begun to play a role in driving cost even higher.

The world's poor are the hardest hit.

McGill University has announced a groundbreaking conference of experts this fall to stimulate an important exchange of ideas about how the world can find ways to better cope with the global food crisis.

Co-chaired by former Canadian Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, Professor of Practice for Public-Private Sector Partnerships at McGill's Centre for Developing Area Studies, and McGill University Chancellor Richard Pound, this conference will bring together leading international experts in agriculture, food and nutrition policy and development to discuss a framework for long-term solutions to declining food stocks and rising prices.

The McGill Conference on Global Food Security will take place September 24-26 in Montreal.

This event will provide one of the first opportunities for organizations and individuals in very diverse areas of expertise from around the world - farm groups, government officials, NGOs, scientists and researchers - to exchange ideas, experiences and possible remedies.

Conference attendees will hear first-hand reports of on-the-ground situations in a number of areas acutely affected by this crisis, as well as success stories from places that have found innovative ways to ensure an adequate supply of food for their populations.

Major international organizations such as the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, the World Food Program, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank will be represented at the conference. Canadian organizations participating include the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, Canadian Food Grains Bank, and the Canadian Red Cross.
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McGill, Canada's leading university, has two campuses, 11 faculties, 10 professional schools, 300 programs of study and more than 33,000 students. Since 2000, more than 800 professors have been recruited to McGill to share their energy, ideas and cutting-edge research. McGill attracts students from 160 countries around the world. Almost half of McGill students claim a first language other than English - including 6,000 francophones - with more than 6,200 international students making up almost 20 per cent of the student body.

Contact:

Douglas Sweet
Director, Media Relations Office
McGill University
514.398.6752
douglas.sweet@mcgill.ca

Julie Fortier
Associate Director
Media Relations Office
McGill University
514.398.6751
julie.c.fortier@mcgill.ca

McGill University

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