Robynne has extensive experience in the agriculture and food sector, working throughout the value chain – from basic inputs to farmers in the field to the grocery store shelf. She works internationally in the sector, including speaking at the United Nations on agriculture and food issues, and representing the International Agri-Food Network at the UN.Throughout her career she has worked with farm organisations like the Prairie Oat Growers Association, the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi and the Himalayan Farmers Association, as well as global groups, to further the voice of agriculture in the food debate. She has also worked with Fortune 500 companies growing worldwide businesses to assist them with issues management and strategy decisions.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Launches Working Group to Grow Our Country's Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector

Ottawa, ON - February 11, 2020 - The Canadian Chamber of Commerce launched its Agriculture and Agri-Food Working Group today to support the industry’s ability to grow and reach new customers. The Working Group will reflect the Canadian Chamber’s role as the country’s largest business association by representing all segments of the agriculture and agri-food value chain from farm to fork across sectors.

The Working Group will initially focus on regulatory reform, international trade, and labour shortages as three key areas where our country needs to improve the business environment if we are to reach our full potential as a global agricultural powerhouse.

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You’ve Got What They Want: Protein Market Growth Helps Advance Pulse Opportunities Globally

The Evolving Debate on Sustainable Diets and Demand for Pulses

The debate on sustainable healthy diets has recently gained momentum, and the pulses market stands to gain significantly as the evolving definition of sustainable diets strongly advocates for more plant-based diets for a healthier planet. While food and healthy diets have traditionally been discussed within the confines of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the subject is now finding its way into non-traditional venues such as the United Nations Environment Assembly and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which are now looking up to sustainable food systems as part of the solution to tackling climate change.

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Farmers Being Heard

Young farmers are moving agriculture ahead, and it is privilege to get to interact with them. One bright light is Karol Kissane of Ireland, a Nuffield scholar. The Nuffield programme really does have an eye for talent and selects future leaders for a year of intensive engagement globally. Karol has just finished his scholarship year and here is a fun video where he provides some feedback on the adventures he had: 

One of the highlights he cites is the chance to speak in plenary at the UN Committee on Food Security during a discussion on the Decade of Family Farming. What could be more important than having farmers be heard during such a decade. In that speech Karol stated “Today many people have referred to family farming as the backbone of the economy in many developing countries, but also those who are suffering the most. Let’s help all family farmers improve their livelihoods, build value chains and on-farm processing, and use innovation to improve the sustainability of their farms."

There is also a great series out by Farming First with farmers talking about the effects of climate change on them, but also the measures they are taking to tackle carbon emissions. No one is better placed to grow more crops, manage soils, plant more trees or sync more carbon than farmers. The potential to move to zero carbon farming relies on technologies and innovative practices that will have agriculture play its part to hit 1.5:

Representing the Business Sector at the UN Committee on World Food Security

The UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will be holding its 46th annual session October 14-18, 2019 at the FAO in Rome. This year’s CFS is all the more important as the SDG Summit clearly showed last fall the shortfalls of commitments towards achieving the SDGs. SDG2 is central to almost all SDGs, yet the number of hungry and malnourished has been increasing steadily for the past three years to raise the unbelievable number of 820 million hungry people. Achieving SDG2 is feasible in our lifetime. We must stand united in the fight towards Zero Hunger and the CFS is the most prominent forum bringing together all actors who have the ability to find solutions for food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture. Emerging is the Secretariat of the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) and will be coordinating the business delegation to CFS, which will bring over 200 individuals from the entire agri-food value chain. We will also be hosting four side-events. If you are in Rome for CFS, you are kindly invited to attend them:

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After 75 years, agriculture and nutrition meet again

This post was originally written by Jessica Fanzo and Derek Byerlee for IFPRI.

One in a series of guest blog posts from leading voices in global development on achieving long-term sustainability and growth while ending hunger, poverty, and malnutrition.

A history of shifting global priorities in the fight against hunger

For the third year in a row, the recently-released FAO State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition report highlights global increases in undernourishment after decades of decline. Meanwhile, the report notes, no region is exempt from widespread micronutrient deficiencies and the rising trend in overweight and obesity. The same week in June, we published a piece in the journal Global Food Security looking back 75 years to the pioneering 1943 UN Conference on Food and Agriculture in Hot Springs, Va., where the first international commitment to ending hunger was made.

That conference set the goal of “freedom from want of food, suitable and adequate for the health and strength of all peoples” that should be achieved “in all lands within the shortest possible time.” Seventy five years after this clarion call, as well as the dozens of similar global declarations made in the interim, it is sobering that various complex forms of malnutrition persist in most countries.

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National Forum on Agri-Food: Competing in a New World Order

I was involved in a Canada Food Brand Project dialogue earlier this year and I want to draw your attention to an upcoming event as part of that work. The Canada 2020 National Forum on Agri-Food: Competing in a New World Order is taking place on November 6-7, 2019, in Ottawa. You might be interested in attending this key event designed to shape priorities for the next agri-food policy agenda, immediately after the federal election.

Details can be found here: 

A Crop Whose Time has Come

This article was originally posted in the IPGA Pulse India magazine. Download the magazine here.

Pulses have never been so relevant. Celebrated in the EAT-Lancet report and the newly declared World Pulses Day – peas, lentils, chickpeas and other pulses are riding a wave of growing attention.  For India, pulses are a timeless part of the diet, but in many other countries, pulses are part of a growing trend to focus on plant-based proteins. 

What we eat sends a signal to the supply chain and the signal is about pulses as a sustainable part of the food basket.  While the discussion of meat lately has not fairly reflected the disparity in developed and developing countries, certainly pulses are part of a more sustainable and healthier future. 

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The Legacy of Pulses: #WorldPulsesDay

Thanks to the formidable leadership of Burkina Faso, the Second Committee of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted, by consensus, in November 2018 a draft resolution establishing 10 February as World Pulses Day (WPD). The establishment of this day will be a lasting legacy of the enormously successful 2016 International Year of Pulses. World Pulses Day is a new opportunity to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of eating pulses! Read the UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution here. World Pulses Day is meant to also reaffirm the contribution of pulses for sustainable agriculture and achieving the 2030 Agenda.

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POGA launches Oats Canada in China

The Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) has started a project focusing on finding solutions to the phytosanitary problem for oats in China.  POGA launched a website in Chinese in November ahead of the mission that took place November 12 to 18 in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing along with the delegation of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Ministerial Trade Mission to China. 

China is the second largest importer of oats globally. Australia largely dominates the market holding almost the 97% of the shares. Canadian oat exports for human and animal use to China are blocked due to the absence of specific phytosanitary protocols. Therefore, Canadian oats products have only a partial access to the market, mainly as oat seeds and processed oats. Notwithstanding this significant limitation Canadian oats have quickly gained market shares over the last 5 years. ln 2017 Canadian oat exports in China had a remarkable 345% increase compared to 2016, which made Canada becoming the second oat exporter in China after Australia. 

A new logo “Oats China” was created and a new website was launched ahead of the mission. In addition, a series of recipe cards were created in Chinese.  As the project continues through the new year, we are excited to explore new ways to promote Canadian oats in China. 

2018 in Review

Happy Holidays!

As 2018 comes to a close, here is a short selection of some of our proudest accomplishments of the past year. 


The Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research launched

The Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research was created and launched this year with Emerging as its Secretariat. The network supports coordination among members, information sharing, and engagement with key stakeholders, in order to raise awareness of the value of gene drive research for the public good and of the need for continuous efforts in its advancement. Their work this year focused on engagement in the policy process for the Convention for Biological Diversity, which met for the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) in Egypt in November. An open letter was published ahead of the convention to discuss how research on gene drive technology can benefit environmental conservation and public health goals. Take a look at their website for more information on the work they do.

Target Malaria develops new resources

Our collaboration with the Target Malaria project is growing strong and we’re excited to be helping a group tackling such an important issue. This year we’ve supported the creation of new communication tools that support learning and understanding of the project. These include; development of infographics, factsheets, as well as a series of videos, such as one made to describe the mark, release and recapture process as it collects information on mosquito vectors in Burkina Faso. 

Emerging Team Retreat

The Emerging team gathered in Calgary, Alberta, for their annual winter team retreat. Together we were able to review our work, and had time to enjoy the Canadian snow!


World Pulses Day

On behalf of the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC), Emerging has been advocating for the establishment of World Pulses Day. Burkina Faso has taken the leadership in advocating for Wold Pulses Day. The government hosted a celebration on February 10, 2018 in Ouagadougou and around the country. Since then, the Second Committee of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted, by consensus, in November 2018 a draft resolution establishing 10 February as World Pulses Day (WPD). The establishment of this day will be a lasting legacy of the enormously successful 2016 International Year of Pulses. The draft resolution should soon be endorsed by the Plenary of the UN General Assembly making the WPD a Day to be observed and celebrated internationally. Learn more here.


Healthy By Design: How Products and Nutrition Guidelines Meet

On March 28th, Emerging assisted members of the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) in hosting an innovative event called Healthy by Design: How Products and Guidelines Meet. This interactive, educational event consisted of a luncheon and series of tastings guided by members of the private sector to consider the challenges of producing foods that are nutritious while also being affordable, accessible, and tasty.





IAFN & PSM Annual General Meetings

Emerging provides Secretariat services to the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) and to the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) to the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

On April 6, 21 members of the Private Sector Mechanism gathered in Rome for the PSM Annual General Meeting (AGM). The group was honored to have the opportunity to meet personally with the Chair of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), H.E Mario Arvelo, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic, who expressed his appreciation for the PSM as a vital mechanism within the Committee.

On April 6th, 11 representatives of the associations that make up the International Agri-Food Network gathered for their AGM. This meeting followed a week of activities that included the FAO 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology and an Agroeocology Panel & Discussion for Member States that was organized by the IAFN Secretariat, which is serviced by Emerging. 


World Milk Day

Emerging assisted the Global Dairy Platform (GDP) in coordinating global celebrations for World Milk Day on June 1, 2017 and 2018. In 2018, World Milk Day was a worldwide success again; taking place over 42 hours around the world with 586 registered events in 72 countries. Emerging coordinated a worldwide social media campaign that generated 868 million impressions on social media for #WorldMilkDay. The Global Campaign which included #WorldMilkDay, #RaiseAGlass and 19 other translations and local hashtags received over 1.1 billion impressions on social media.  Read the full report here.

ISF World Seed Congress

Emerging assisted the International Seed Federation (ISF) in their social media campaigns for the World Seed Congress the past two years. This year, the Congress took place in Brisbane, Australia with over 1200 attendees. Emerging was onsite to coordinate social media streams, manage live updates and conduct social media training to congress delegates.


SDG Business Forum 2018

Emerging coordinated the participation of agri-food delegates to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. One of them was Thato Moagi, CEO, LeGae La Banareng Farms, who was a panelist at a special event presented by the SDG Business Forum, on July 18. The event, entitled “A new era for responsible business – a conversation with CEOs” was moderated by Femi Oke, International Journalist and Broadcaster. Thato and the other two panelists spoke about how they are responding to the challenge of sustainability in their farm operations and their vision for SDG implementation. 



Investing in Reshaping Food Systems at HLPF 2018

In the context of the High Level Political Forum, Emerging worked with the Permanent Missions of Canada and Jamaica to the United Nations and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to host the Side Event "Investing for Reshaping Food Systems" to bring attention to the importance of investing in reshaping food systems to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieve broad-based development. The Side Event, convened on July 11, advocated for food systems that can help achieve multiple SDGs by 2030 – food systems that are efficient, inclusive, climate-smart, sustainable, nutrition- and health-driven, and business-friendly.



Global Dairy Platform at HLPF 2018

A number of representatives of the Global Dairy Platform (GDP) participated in the third HLPF, from 9 to 18 July, 2018. Emerging worked with these Dairy Ambassadors to information on the important role of dairy in delivering and implementing the SDGs by supporting the lives of one billion people around the world.


45th United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS)








The UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is the foremost intergovernmental platform  to ensure good nutrition and food security for all. The Committee meets every year at the FAO. Emerging, as the Secretariat for the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM), coordinated our largest delegation to date, with 180 business leaders from 40 countries, including over 65 youth and representatives of youth organizations. PSM members hosted five side-events, spoke in plenary, appeared on panels, met with the Director General of FAO, and actively met with CFS stakeholders. Emerging also hosted the High Level Dinner, which attracted 190  diplomats and senior business representatives who spent the evening discussing how to Engage, Attract and Retain Youth in Agriculture. Read the HLD report here.

World Pulses Day

On behalf of Global Pulse Confederation and Permanent Mission of Burkina Faso, Emerging hosted a reception on October 25th in New York to support the UN resolution of establishing 10 February as World Pulses Day.  


Avena Canada campaigns for World Diabetes Day

Emerging is working for the Prairie Oat Growers Association to encourage oat consumption in Mexico in order to curb the obesity and diabetes epidemics in the country. Emerging has been running a digital marketing campaign called Avena Canada, through a Facebook page and a website promoting delicious oat-based recipes. The Facebook fan page exceeded 200,000 fans. We run recipe contests and partner with local Mexican food bloggers to develop more recipes to grow a positive community of oat-loving foodies online!

For World Diabetes Day on November 14, the Prairie Oat Growers Association partnered with the Mexican Diabetes Federation and held a series of events focusing on the role of oats in a nutritious and healthy diet, including a culinary event held at the Colegio Superior de Gastronomia, a media event with journalists, a diabetes fair and digital promotion to encourage early diabetes diagnosis.

POGA China builds momentum

The Prairie Oat Growers Association joined the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Ministerial Trade Mission to China tto spark interest for Canadian oats and resolve a phytosanitary trade problem. Emerging joined the Canadian delegation and organized meetings with importers, traders, and government officials in Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Dalian. 

Emerging also launched a new Oats Canada website for the Chinese market. Check it out here.

International Symposium on Agricultural Innovation for Family Farmers

The 1st International Symposium on Agricultural Innovation for Family Farmers was held in Rome November 21 to 23, with the goal of unlocking the potential of agricultural innovation to achieve the sustainable development goals. Emerging coordinated a delegation of 45 registered attendees from 17 countries, including 9 youth representatives, and hosted several events including "Accelerating Innovation" and "The Future of Farming".  



Agriculture and Livestock in the Climate Change Negotiations

Emerging attended the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), that took place in Katowice, Poland, from December 2nd to 14th, 2018. In Katowice climate change negotiators must finish the work on the rules and guidelines that will help countries implement the Paris Agreement and turn the carbon-cutting vision set in Paris in 2015 into reality. The meeting will also contribute to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and advance SDG 13 (climate action).

Emerging took part in the global debate on climate change to find common solutions to the challenges that climate change is especially posing to agriculture production and food and nutrition security.


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