Speakers – June 1, 2022 – Plenary

Cher Mereweather, CEO – Anthesis Provision

Cher is one of Canada’s leaders in food and beverage industry sustainability.

She has dedicated her 20-year career to enabling food and beverage companies to embrace sustainability, purpose and circularity in order to create a more resilient food system, one company at a time.

Before founding Provision Coalition Inc., now Anthesis Provision, Cher’s career included time with the Guelph Food Technology Centre (now NSF International) where she established and directed the Sustainability Consulting Business Unit, and executive positions in environmental economics and policy with the Canadian agri-food think tank, the George Morris Centre. Cher holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Environmental Economics and Policy and is certified in both project and change management. Cher has also been awarded the Canadian Grocer Generation Next award for her leadership, innovation and excellence in sustainability within the food and beverage industry.


Dr Simon Somogyi, Arrell Chair in the Business of Food & Professor – Gordon S. Lang School of Business & Economics, University of Guelph.

Dr Simon Somogyi holds the Arrell Chair in the Business of Food and is a Full Professor in the School of Hospitality, Food & Tourism Management, University of Guelph. He is also the Director of the Longo’s Food Retail Laboratory at Lang, and an Honorary Senior Fellow in Agribusiness in the School of Agriculture & Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia, Adjunct Professor in the School of Resource & Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia.

He has a PhD in Agribusiness Marketing from the University of Adelaide, Australia and he is a teacher and researcher in the area of agri-food value chain management and international market development. Over the past decade he has led and contributed to research and development value chain projects in countries such as China, Japan, Australia, Pakistan, The Philippines, Indonesia, Kenya and Canada. Most of these projects involve creating and delivering consumer driven food supply chains, linking members of the chain from input supply and primary production to retail, particularly in the beverage, seafood and horticulture sectors. He has appeared in print, radio and TV media outlets such as BBC News, The Guardian The Globe & Mail, The Hill Times, Maclean’s, CTV, CBC, Global News, Canadian Press, National Post and The Financial Post and is active on Twitter as @SimonSomogyiAFI

Dr. Mike von Massow, Associate Professor – University of Guelph

Mike is interested in how people think about food with recent work focusing on labeling, novel food products, animal welfare and antibiotic use.  He is also active in the interdisciplinary Guelph Food Waste Research Project with Dr Kate Parizeau.  Mike’s research also considers the structure and performance of food value chains as they evolve in response to changing consumer preferences and other factors.

Mike joined FARE in the summer of 2016 after a period in the College of Business and Economics.  He joined the University of Guelph in 2010 upon completing his PhD.  He worked in a variety of operations and marketing roles in the agri-food industry before going back into academic life and beginning his Doctoral studies in pricing strategy.  He also spent time working as a management consultant and policy researcher.  His industry experience informs both his teaching and his research program.

Mike speaks frequently about food waste, animal welfare and other research projects.  He has written for the Globe and Mail and other publications and is often quoted on radio and in the media.   As a frequent blogger with a strong presence on broadcast, print and social media, Mike helps contribute to the Department’s on-going efforts to mobilize research in a manner that helps to inform public policy and private strategy.  Mike has also introduced his FoodFocus Podcast to discuss issues of interest in the food space.

Mike is a member of the steering committee for the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare.