WEBINAR: Supply Chain Resilience for Agri-Food in the Great Lakes

Watch the webinar recording below!

Nearly everyone has been impacted in some way in recent years by supply chain disruption – from foods we love that are not reliably stocked on grocery store shelves to prices of those items increasing. We don’t have to look far to comprehend the underlying causes behind these disruptions and the inconveniences caused to consumers. The pandemic, extreme weather, climate change, geopolitics and more, remain reasons for concern that impact our once-trusted supply chains.

A team of Canadian and US experts from multiple complementary disciplines have investigated this issue with the intention of evaluating the drivers and incentives that formed the current agri-food supply chain dependencies—and rethinking the approach to emergent threats. As a result, they developed the first phase of a Crises Management Toolbox that consists of six tools that quantify and visualize the complex interactions of drivers and impacts, driving a powerful approach to decision processes for strengthening Canadian agri-food resilience.

This toolbox, which is laid out in the report ‘Canadian Agri-Food Resilience: A Toolbox for Managing Crises’ was commissioned by the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) and was intended to support agri-food stakeholders throughout supply chains. That said, the report’s systematic approach to addressing the context of converging crises is broadly applicable to any supply chain or ecosystem. This is because the toolbox provides solid support for making decisions and developing solutions for an increasingly complex risk environment defined by destructive synergies among multiple crises.

In this webinar, we met the authors of the report and heard about the increasing vulnerabilities the agri-food industry faces, the consultations and case studies that informed the toolbox development, and the variables that must be considered to mitigate risks and support decision makers to ensure agri-food resilience as well as regional economic resilience.

We left having a better understanding of the applicable tools that will help ensure the foods we love get from farmers to processors and ultimately to the consumers.


Thomas R. Armstrong, PhD is President of Madison River Group (MRG); a strategic, action-oriented consulting firm specializing in climate change and Earth systems outcomes. Tom served within the White House during the Obama Administration as the Executive Director of the United States Global Change Research Program, an author of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Head of Delegation to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, and the Chair of Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON). 

Karen Hand, PhD is the Founder and President of Precision Strategic Solutions and a biostatistician who has worked extensively with primary ag – including data modeling, implementing technology systems for disease surveillance and innovative technology to enable farmer driven, trustworthy data sharing and data enablement.

John Fisk, PhD has over 25 years of experience in sustainable food and agricultural systems development. He is founder and President of Bluestem Food Systems Consulting. As the former Executive Director of the Wallace Center at Winrock International he re-established the Center as an innovative and national force in regional food value chain development employing research, public-private partnership, and investment into innovative models to build links across the supply chain that drive economic and social impact. 

Sanjay Khanna is Chief Futurist of SK Futures Inc. a strategic foresight consultancy dedicated to enhancing the resiliency of individuals, organizations, and communities during our “era of converging crises.” Sanjay’s professional and academic work has been featured and quoted by media outlets including Financial TimesCBCThe Globe and MailLes Affaires, and Nature. Sanjay is a scenario planning expert, completing the Oxford Scenarios Programme at the University of Oxford in 2018 and training with legendary Royal Dutch Shell scenario planners in 2002. 


Lora Shrake is the Senior Program Director, Business and Sustainability for the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR), where she is working with a growing network of business leaders to connect across sustainability issues and support the advancement of cross-sector solutions. Some of the programmatic areas include circular economy, water stewardship, and climate change and decarbonization. Lora also facilitates CGLR’s monthly business and sustainability webinar series, providing a platform for knowledge sharing and amplifying regional best practice.

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