Thursday, October 24, 2013

BMO Donates $1.25-Million to Support Biomaterials Research at the University of Guelph

Research at the University of Guelph intended to turn crops into green products received major support today from BMO Financial Group.

GUELPH, Ontario October 23, 2013 - University of Guelph News Release - BMO will invest $1.25 million in U of G’s efforts to sustain and grow the agricultural bio-economy. The gift comes through the BetterPlanet Project, the University’s $200-million fundraising campaign for teaching and research in food, environment, health and communities.

“The support from BMO will allow our researchers to continue to revolutionize the use of plant materials,” said President Alastair Summerlee. “This is critical work in a world of global warming, growing environmental threats and depleting petroleum resources. It will also ensure that U of G retains its position as the global leader in this field.”

“Research at the University of Guelph plays an important role in the advancement of the region’s economy,” said Susan Brown, Senior Vice President, Ontario Regional Division, BMO Bank of Montreal.

“BMO has a deep relationship with the agricultural community, and this donation will help solidify the University of Guelph as a major center for agricultural research, in Ontario and across the country.”

U of G researchers are using wheat, soy, corn and other crops to make car parts, furniture, building materials and new kinds of rubber.

Leading this work is the University’s Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC). Opened in 2008, the centre is looking for renewable, eco-friendly alternatives to petroleum-based materials in manufacturing and consumer goods.

The centre aims to develop more complex manufacturing applications and higher-value green products. It’s directed by Prof. Amar Mohanty, an international leader in biomaterials who holds the $3-million Premier’s Research Chair in Biomaterials and Transportation, part of the Ontario Research Chairs program.

The BMO gift will help expand the centre’s research and commercialization facilities and acquire cutting-edge research equipment, among other projects.

The University will name Phase II of the BDDC, now nearing completion, as the BMO Bioproducts Innovation Extension.

A philanthropic supporter since its founding in 1817, BMO has supported the University since Guelph’s first capital campaign in 1969.

Rob Gordon, dean of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College, said funding for the BDDC and other agricultural projects recognizes an important and evolving research field.

“It’s a catalyst for innovative green products that will ultimately enhance the value of Ontario’s agriculture sector,” he said.

“It also provides a training environment that will help grow the bio-economy and support global commercialization and job creation in Canada.”

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tim Hortons and the University of Guelph host Sustainable Food Management Summit

New research by University of Guelph focuses on animal welfare and sustainability in foodservice and retail industry supply chains

OAKVILLE, Ontario, October 4, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - Tim Hortons, in partnership with the University of Guelph and the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare (CCSAW), hosted an industry summit designed to identify opportunities and barriers in the development of sustainable supply chains, with animal welfare considerations in the foodservice and retail industries.

The Summit provided a forum for sharing information and research among various stakeholders on the state of animal welfare and sustainability standards in food supply chains. The Summit also focused on the importance of stakeholders working together to establish such enhanced, consistent animal welfare standards in today's food system.

"We are thrilled with the turnout of industry stakeholders such as farmers, producers, restaurant chains, retailers, academics and animal welfare experts at our Sustainable Food Management Summit," said John Hemeon, executive vice president of supply chain, Tim Hortons. "Tim Hortons is committed to improving the quality of animals' lives in our supply chain in a pragmatic, responsible manner. We hope that by continuing to engage the industry in meaningful discussions, we can help identify additional opportunities for collaboration, which is crucial to the process and continued progress."

New research conducted by the University of Guelph was funded in part by the Tim Hortons Sustainable Food Management Fund, created in 2012 and designed to advance the state of sustainable food management practices including animal welfare.

Dr. Michael von Massow, professor in the College of Management and Economics at the University of Guelph, presented key findings from one of the phases of the Tim Hortons-supported research, which evaluated consumer and stakeholder perceptions of animal welfare and sustainability in the foodservice and retail industries. Ipsos Canada conducted the research and more than 1,000 Canadian consumers across the country were surveyed.

Findings included:

...There is increasing consumer awareness and concern about animal welfare, which along with nutrition, ranked in the second tier of importance when purchasing food. Price, freshness, taste and safety ranked in the top tier. There was a significant segment of the population for whom animal welfare was an important consideration

...Consumers want more information about how their food is produced and say it will influence their choices. They are unsure about how the food they buy now is produced. About 50 per cent of respondents didn't know the housing systems used for the pork they purchased, while 25 per cent didn't know the housing systems used for the eggs they purchased

Dr. von Massow also highlighted a number of key findings from broader stakeholder research, including:

...There is no agreement or consensus yet between consumers and industry stakeholders on what specifically should drive animal welfare standards but there is strong agreement that progress needs to be made and commitment to making progress

...In addition to developing new standards for animal care, the industry needs to develop a strategic implementation plan to ensure that the outcomes achieved are consistent with the objectives

"The summit discussions and the results of the University of Guelph's independent study reveal gaps in consumers' understanding of animal welfare and production in the foodservice industry," said Julia Christensen Hughes, Dean of the College of Management and Economics, University of Guelph. "What and how the industry communicates to consumers on animal welfare initiatives is important and we hope this event will encourage the industry to work together to build more sustainable supply chains and establish more humane and sustainable housing systems for farm animals."

Dr. Sandra Edwards was the keynote luncheon speaker at the event. Dr. Edwards is a leading animal welfare expert in the United Kingdom and the European Union and shared her experience and perspectives on setting and implementing animal welfare standards, as well as emerging issues and perspectives in Europe.

Other speakers included renowned animal welfare experts Dr. Tina Widowski of The University of Guelph and the CCSAW and Dr. Ed Pajor of the University of Calgary Veterinary School. Dr. Widowski and Dr. Pajor discussed the state of animal welfare science specific to eggs and pork respectively. Jackie Wepruk of the National Farm Animal Care Council and Barbara Cartwright of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies presented Canadian perspectives of animal welfare codes of practice and the national code development process.

More information about Tim Hortons Animal Welfare initiatives and commitments can be found at

About Tim Hortons Inc.

Tim Hortons is one of the largest publicly-traded restaurant chains in North America based on market capitalization, and the largest in Canada. Operating in the quick service segment of the restaurant industry, Tim Hortons appeals to a broad range of consumer tastes, with a menu that includes premium coffee, espresso-based hot and cold specialty drinks (including lattes, cappuccinos and espresso shots), specialty teas and fruit smoothies, fresh baked goods including our trademark donuts, grilled Panini and classic sandwiches, wraps, soups, prepared foods and other food products. As of June 30th, 2013, Tim Hortons had 4,304 systemwide restaurants, including 3,468 in Canada, 807 in the United States and 29 in the Gulf Cooperation Council. More information about the Company is available at Follow Tim Hortons on Twitter:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fire Prevention Week is October 6-12, and this year’s theme is, “Prevent Kitchen Fires and Get Cooking with Fire Safety!”

A menacing visitor brings danger to a farm. The Co-operators teams up with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council to create fire safety awareness.

Watch as The Stovenator lurches its way onto a farm in order to wreak havoc.

In order to stop the Stovenator in its smoky tracks, The Co-operators has teamed up with the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council and the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs to raise awareness of the dangers surrounding cooking and preventable kitchen fires.

Seven out of ten fires in Canada start at home. More fires begin in the kitchen than in any other room and residential cooking is one of the leading causes of fire-related deaths. Most kitchen fires occur because people get distracted and leave their cooking unattended. It takes seconds for a pot or pan to splatter grease or overheat creating a fire that can quickly spread. Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. On farms, a potential kitchen fire can be especially devastating as homeowners might be outside doing chores during which time fire can quickly spread.

For more information on fire safety and preventing kitchen fires visit:

Don’t let the Stovenator visit you!