Plate Tectonics

The Shifting Geopolitics of Food in a Post-COVID-19 World

Presented by thePanel 



Food. Its production and distribution over time illustrates a remarkable story of modern advancement in science, industry and trade. Its cultural importance, around the world, also cannot be understated - keeping us connected to each other and to our roots, no matter how far away. For these reasons, we have come to recognize and rely on vast supply chain networks to feed our rising global population and to deliver products to our increasingly multicultural pantry shelves. 

Today, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our modern food landscape. With borders and businesses closed, this complex system of distribution channels has been upended, leaving us to consider what is still on the table. Important questions around what we eat and where it's made are being re-imagined - with greater consideration for food security risks and a growing consumer sentiment to shop and support local.

As governments look to build domestic capacity across all industries in light of market uncertainty, thePanel is interested in the shifting geopolitics of food in a post-COVID-19 world. Is this a lasting move away from the globalization of food? Or a momentary deviation from the dominant trend? Does this shift threaten the gains we've seen from our current system? And how should our policymakers respond? Join us in considering what the next chapter will mean for Canadian farmers, small and big business, as well as the everyday consumer. 


Mercedes Stephenson

Ottawa Bureau Chief, Global News

Mercedes Stephenson is Global News’ Ottawa Bureau Chief and the host of the network’s flagship national political affairs program The West Block. Leading Global News’ coverage from the nation’s capital, Stephenson interviews the biggest names in Canadian and international politics.


Gisèle Yasmeen

Executive Director, Food Secure Canada

Gisèle Yasmeen has 20 years of leadership experience in knowledge organizations having served as a not-for-profit and federal government executive, including Vice-President of Research and Partnerships at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Gisèle brings a deep good systems lens to her work and started working on these issues in both Asia and Canada in the early 1990s. 

Pradeep Prabhala

Partner, McKinsey Centre for Agricultural Transformation

Pradeep Prabhala is a Partner in the McKinsey’s Washington DC Office and is a leader in the Firm’s Agriculture and Food Practice. Over the last decade, Pradeep has served over a dozen governments in Asia and Africa on their food system transformation agendas. In the wake of the current COVID 19 pandemic, he is currently leading McKinsey’s food security efforts in North America.

Nadia Theodore

Senior Vice President, Global Government and Industry Relations, Maple Leaf Foods

Nadia Theodore is Senior Vice President, Global Government and Industry Relations with Maple Leaf Foods, where she leads global government relations and public policy functions, collaborating across the organization in developing and implementing the company’s government and industry relations strategy. Prior to this, Nadia served as Canada’s Consul General to the Southeast USA as well as Counsellor at the World Trade Organization. 




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