CHANGING THE GAME ON WATER USE: Mitigating Risk and Improving the Profitability of Ontario’s Food And Beverage Sector
On September 16th 2015, 165 producers, solution providers and government representatives converged to tackle the growing need for sustainable practices around water and wastewater management in the food and beverage industry. Rising water rates, sewage surcharges, and resource costs present a significant risk to the competitiveness to an industry already squeezed by tight margins. The Water Innovation Forum featured speakers, panel discussions, and a marketplace of 16 organizations focused on addressing these challenges. Improving water and resource management represents a major opportunity for Ontario food and beverage producers to realize lasting benefits and become leaders in efficient production.
The Water Innovation Forum’s mission is to inspire change and create new business relationships within the “Collective We”.
The “Collective We” is comprised of producers, technology suppliers, consultants, and various levels of government that need to work together to find efficient and effective solutions. This conference promoted open discussions between these stakeholders that allow them to capture the most value through their joined efforts and open communication.
|8:00 am||Registration, Continental Breakfast and Networking|
|8:30 am||Welcome and Opening Remarks
|8:45 am||The Customer Perspective:
Building a Foundation for Practical Change
This session will discuss how food and beverage companies can “re-think” their water use and wastewater management practices, to improve operations, recover lost product and ingredients, and drive bottom-line performance. A craft beer expert from Colorado and a leading Ontario food/beverage company will share their water and resource management experiences, challenges and opportunities.
|10:00 am||Networking and Refreshment Break|
|10:30 am||The Supplier Perspective:
Accelerating the Adoption of Innovative Solutions
This session will delve into the challenges facing suppliers in selling their technology products and services to food and beverage processors. It will examine what needs to change and how to address the barriers, to enable increased industry adoption of innovative water and wastewater management solutions.
|11:30 am||The Municipal Perspective:
Balancing Competing Priorities of Local Economic Development, Asset Management and Water Infrastructure Optimization
Municipalities and their food and beverage sectors are inextricably linked with shared challenges and opportunities. This session will outline how the City of Brantford is developing a new “win-win” model; creating a more vibrant and robust industrial sector while optimizing municipal water infrastructure. Through their own example, Brantford and Maple Leaf Foods will discuss how they are working together to promote and invest in on-site water management solutions in Maple Leaf’s operations. This example can be replicated in other municipalities.
|12:30 pm||Networking Lunch|
|1:30 pm||A Global Perspective: Afternoon Keynote
Realizing Bottom-Line Value through Water and Resource Optimization in Ireland’s Dairy Sector
The Keynote will provide a macro overview of the global food/beverage sector and competitive landscape. It will highlight “resource constraint risks” and the impact of increasing energy, water and resource management costs on margins and competitiveness. As an illustration, a case study on Dubliner Cheese and Carberry Dairy Farm in Ireland will examine how they are taking a strategic and holistic approach to energy, water and resource management to improve the bottom-line.
|2:00 pm||A Financial Perspective:
A Strategic Approach to Leverage Grant Funding
There are a myriad of government grant programs available to food and beverage processors. How do you identify these, select the ones right for you and prepare a winning application? This session will answer these questions. More importantly, it will show how processors can take a strategic approach to building such programs into longer-term business strategies and growth plans. An example of how one food and beverage company has successfully done this will be highlighted.
|3:00 pm||Networking and Refreshment Break|
|3:15 pm||A Sector Association Perspective:
Water Innovation in the Holland Marsh
Growing almost $50 million of fresh produce annually, the Holland Marsh is commonly referred to as Ontario’s “vegetable patch”. This session will showcase an innovative water project being implemented by the Holland Marsh Growers Association to sustain that economic capability into the future. Panelists will talk about how they are testing and evaluating innovative technologies and approaches, to protect fresh water supply, reduce risks to water quality and improve the growers’ bottom-line.
|4:15 pm||Concluding Remarks
|4:30 pm||Forum Adjourned|