Presenter: Ian Affleck
Ian Affleck, who is VP of plant biotechnology for CropLife Canada, spoke about how plants and plant science have evolved over time. “A lot of our food didn’t exist the way it looks today,” he said, pointing to broccoli, grapefruit, bananas, corn and other plants. “It has been thousands of years of time and effort and dedication.” Affleck spoke of new developments like high-fiber or low-gluten wheat to improve people’s diets; a low-bruising potato which will reduce food waste and improve processing efficiencies.
Science and innovation have been critical to helping the world combat the global health crisis. It’s also driving major advances in the way we grow food, helping to make food more sustainable, nutritious and affordable. Whether it’s genetically engineered or gene edited crops that are more resilient to climate change or safe and effective pesticides that protect vulnerable crops from destruction, farmers need access to a full suite of tools to help them feed Canadians and the world. And at the end of the day, technology on the farm benefits consumers who have year-round access to a wide variety of safe, healthy and sustainably grown foods.