emerging blog

Sid Mehta is joining the Emerging team in the capacity of Food Service & Retail leader. He brings with him vast experience in delivering strategies and tactical solutions on improving food security, reducing food loss & waste, and creating sustainable food systems.

Prior to joining Emerging, his work included developing, managing and executing strategies within hospitality and retail food service industry. He has successfully run multi-million-dollar food service operations in several sectors including energy resources, hospitals, schools and higher education, airports, and retail. In 2007, Sid joined Compass Group Canada, part of the largest global food services organization. His comprehensive experience earned Sid a reputation for enhancing consumer value propositions, engaging stakeholders in the strategic process, forging internal and external relationships, and establishing himself as a highly respected, award winning senior executive.

Sid’s passion and commitment to excellence began as a young entrepreneur in Nashik, India. There he conceptualized, implemented, and managed a unique restaurant named 12 to 12 which quickly become one of the top three restaurants in the city.

He has a Bachelor Degree in Electronics and Telecommunications, a Diploma in Industrial Electronics, and holds certifications in Six Sigma Green Belt, Culinary Skills, Financial Planning & Analysis and has completed the Queen’s University Executive Leadership program. Sid is proficient in four languages including English, Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati.

What should we do to attract more youth in agriculture?

On July 13th, the International Agri-Food Network, together with a number of leading organizations, hosted the “Agriculture and Food Day” in New York in the margins of the High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development. This day was meant to celebrate, discuss, analyze, and brainstorm around the role of Agriculture and Food in relation to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

This special day included a thematically-focused plenary session with high-level speakers including high-ranking UN diplomats; a series of roundtable discussions on inter-linkages in SDGs; and a dynamic luncheon featuring youth in agriculture with the goal to raise awareness of the critical need for investment in Goal 2.

Youth engagement emerged as a fundamental theme to transform agriculture into a more sustainable, productive and attractive sector. Issues such as asset and investments; modernization of the rural world; incorporating agriculture into secondary – and at some level – primary school education; access to markets; and empowering young women farmers were discussed amongst the group led by Gerda Verburg, former Minister of Agriculture of the Netherlands and current Chair of the Scaling-Up Nutrition Movement.

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Agriculture and Food Day at the High-Level Political Forum

On Agriculture and Food Day, an event hosted by the International Agri-food Network (IAFN) in the margins of the UN High-Level Political Forum in New York, it is time to summarize the importance of targeting Agriculture and Food, to be able to reach the SDGs.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) help to guide people and the planet towards a sustainable future, and they were created to do exactly this: measure progress and achievements towards this series of 17 goals. During the High-Level Political Forum, the United Nations is meant to work its member states to track progress on several of the SDGs to see how the world is doing on this ambitious journey. Solutions however cannot address just one goal, but must look to make a difference to several at once

Investments made in agriculture — the dominant occupation for the world’s poorest people — can do just that:  . The International Agri-Food Network advocated for several years, as the goals were developed, to make sure that a stand-alone goal on sustainable agriculture and food security would be established as part of the SDGs. This goal is SDG2: Ending Hunger. IAFN is hosting the event with the Farming First coalition, a group that has been advocating for agriculture programs to be ‘farmer-centred and knowledge-based’

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Celebrate World Milk Day 2017

Milk is considered one of the first foods, with it emerging into the agriculture scene nearly 10,000 years ago. Since then, it has been an integral part of everyday life particularly in the growth and development of children. Did you know that an eight-ounce glass of milk contains the same amount of calcium equal to twelve servings of whole grains, ten cups of raw spinach or six servings of legumes? It is a little-known fact that milk is the only product on which a human could survive wholly on as it contains every nutrient your body needs. 

Personally, the nutritional benefits of milk, for both my children and me, make it a very important part of our everyday life. Milk has been a part of my diet since I was a child, my favourite memory about milk was waking up every morning as a kid in India and waiting for our local dairy farmer to deliver fresh milk. To this day, that same local dairy farmer delivers milk. As a matter of fact, India is the largest producer of milk in the world. 

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation declared June 1st as World Milk Day in 2001. This year will mark the 16th annual World Milk Day. A day created to connect the many facets of the dairy industry and promote the importance of milk as a global food. This day works in conjunction with National Dairy Month, which has been celebrated every year in June since 1937. 

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Global Dialogue Series: Eliminating Food Loss and Waste (FLW)

One-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, and it costs around $940 billion dollars each year to the global economy. Food Loss and Waste happens through the entire value chain, but it is greater nearer “the fork” in the developed regions and nearer “the farm” in developing regions. Moreover, FLW contributes around 8% of the global GHG emission which in the context of scale, would be the third largest contributor of GHG behind China and USA. 

I recently participated in the Global Dialogue Series on Food Loss and Waste hosted by the UN Global Compact. The series are online discussions, informing the development of short briefs designed to support business engagement in support of food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 –Reduce per capita global Food Waste and Loss by 50% by 2030.  

The invited panel for the series on FLW were stakeholders from the UN Global Compact, the Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO), and the World Resource Institute (WRI). The private sector was engaged as well with participation from Tesco, Campbell, and Danone who are leading the charge on FLW through concrete strategies and actions. 

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Time for Action on Food Waste

After spending the last 10 years meeting the needs of consumers and clients in the Food Service industry, my first visit to the United Nations at their headquarters in New York to participate in Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO) conversation on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was stimulating and inspiring.

We are facing some of the most important decisions related to our collective future on one of the most rudimentary pillars of our society, food & and its security.  The fight to achieve food security, malnutrition and end hunger is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today and in the coming years. Globally, close to one billion people are undernourished and a further billion are overweight or obese.

Rising populations, diminishing resources and deteriorating environments only raise the stakes. In a world where one third of the food we produce is thrown away, we cannot help but ask ourselves the question: Could food wastage and hunger be an expression of the same problem?

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