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$20-million donation will help U of Guelph transform global food economy

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The University of Guelph received a $20-million donation and will use to create the Arrell Food Institute. The new institute will address food security, safety and sustainability

Guelph, Ont. – The University of Guelph has received a $20-million donation to create a food institute that will address food security, safety and sustainability.

The Arrell Family Foundation is behind the donation, and the new food institute will be called the Arrell Food Institute.

The university says it will provide matching funds of $20 million for a total commitment of $40 million.

Along with recent government and private funding — including a $77-million award from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund for the Food From Thought project — this new gift brings the total investment in agri-food at the university to more than $150 million in the past 12 months.


“The Arrell Food Institute will influence research, policy, practice and behaviour. It’s a bold initiative, and its impacts extend nationally and globally,” says Tony Arrell, a U of Guelph alumnus and chair and CEO of Burgundy Asset Management in Toronto.

The foundation says it is dedicated to improving health and quality of life, which meshes with the university’s goal to improve life through research, teaching and innovation.

The Arrell Food Institute will bring together cutting-edge research, agricultural expertise, big data, environmental science, business and civil society.

The new funding will also support new research chairs and scholars, international food innovation awards and a prestigious annual conference.


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