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New ag literacy program coming to University of Calgary

New ag literacy program coming to University of Calgary

The program aims to promote the understanding of food systems

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The University of Calgary will be home to a new program designed to change how society thinks about and interacts with the food system.

The Simpson Centre for Food and Agricultural Policy at the University of Calgary will partner with 13 other Canadian universities and Stanford University in the U.S., to work on the Ag Literacy for Healthier People and Planet program.

With a $1 million donation from BMO, these universities will conduct research over five years to support a deeper understanding of food choices and how ag policies are designed.

"The program is designed to reach a broad range of audiences, including formal stakeholders such as research, industry, and government, as well as informal audiences such as consumers and citizens,” Guillaume Lhermie, director of the Simpson Centre, said in a statement. “We are particularly focused on engaging young adults and teenagers who are active on social media and eager to participate in shaping the future of food systems."

After that time, the Centre will conduct work to promote positive change in food habits and ag policies. In addition, resources will be made available to the public on food issues like GMOs and pesticides.

Canadians appear to have a positive opinion of the national food system.

The 2023 Survey on Consumer Perceptions of Food found that 88 per cent of consumers believe the food and agriculture industries are moderately to very trustworthy.

And 58 per cent of consumers believe the food and ag industries are transparent about how food is produced.

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