Rome, 26 June 2019: Rick White, CEO of the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA), has been elected Chair of the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN). The IAFN works on a wide variety of issues relating to agriculture, food, and nutrition, and serves as the focal point for the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS). White will lead the IAFN for the next two years in bringing together 18 international agriculture, farmer, and food associations that represent over 10,000 businesses worldwide in 135 countries.
“The world’s farmers are on the front lines of climate change, rural development, and hunger. The Rome Based Agencies have a leadership role in fostering respect for all farmers globally, educating the UN system on the vital role they play, and furthering their engagement in decision-making. On my farm and on those of my members, we see the importance of innovation and new technologies and we will bring that perspective to the forthcoming discussions at CFS and also to help further global nutrition as we develop the new guidelines,” said White upon his nomination at IAFN’s Annual General Meeting in Rome.
White’s nomination comes at an exciting time at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which on 23 June elected a new incoming Director-General, Dr. Qu Dongyu of China. “On behalf of IAFN, we would like to congratulate Dr. Qu and his early commitment to growing FAO, including through collaboration with the private sector. We are ready and eager to work with the Director-General Elect,” White stated. “I want to thank Donald Moore of the Global Dairy Platform as outgoing chair of IAFN, along with my predecessors Jaine Chisholm-Caunt of the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA), Hakan Bahceci of the Global Pulse Confederation, and Charlotte Hebebrand of the International Fertilizer Association. The collaboration of so many parts of the value chain has been invaluable,” says White.
White is from a family farm in Canada. CCGA represents 43,000 canola farmers on a variety of national and international issues, policies and programs that influence their farms’ success including global trade, access to innovation, and sustainability. His work includes the administration of the Advance Payments Program, which issues cash advance loans to farmers. White holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics.