The Rise of the Conscious Carnivore? The Good, the Bad, and the Awfully Ugly.

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois | Professor, Food Distribution and Policy, Faculty of Management Professor, Faculty of Agriculture Dalhousie University, Canada Scientific Director (interim), Institute of Agri-food Analytics

March 13th, 2:00pm

For years, voluntarily committing to a special diet was a tacit choice. It appears these choices are now allowing a growing collective to go on the offensive. Estimates from a recent wide-ranging Dalhousie University study suggest that Canada harbours more than 2.3 million vegetarians, and upwards of 850,000 vegans. The number of vegetarians in Canada is almost equivalent to the population of Montréal, one of Canada’s largest cities. So, what’s going on? The meat industry is certainly being challenged these days by more activists advocating against meat consumption. Some are suggesting we ban meat consumption altogether. Still, meat does have a future, but it’s getting complicated out there.


Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is a Professor in food distribution and policy in the Faculties of Management and Agriculture at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is also the Interim Scientific Director of the Institute of Agri-food Analytics, also located in Halifax. He is as well the former Dean of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University. Before joining Dalhousie, he was affiliated with the University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute, which he co-founded. While at the University of Guelph, he was also the Associate Dean of Research for the College of Business and Economics.

Known as “The Food Professor”, his current research interest lies in the broad area of food distribution, security and safety. He is one of the world’s most cited scholars in food supply chain management, food value chains and traceability.

He has authored five books on global food systems, his most recent one published in 2017 by Wiley-Blackwell entitled “Food Safety, Risk Intelligence and Benchmarking”. He has also published over 500 peer-reviewed journal articles in several academic publications. Furthermore, his research has been featured in several newspapers, including The Economist, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, the Globe & Mail, the National Post and the Toronto Star.

Dr. Charlebois sits on a few company boards, and supports many organizations as a special advisor, including some publicly traded companies. Charlebois is also a member of the Scientific Council of the Business Scientific Institute, based in Luxemburg. He conducts policy analysis, evaluation, and demonstration projects for government agencies and major foundations focusing on agricultural policies and community development both in Canada and in development settings. Dr. Charlebois is a member of the Global Food Traceability Centre’s Advisory Board based in Washington DC, and a member of the National Scientific Committee of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in Ottawa. He has testified on several occasions before parliamentary committees on food policy-related issues as an expert witness. He has been asked to act as an advisor on food and agricultural policies in many Canadian provinces, in the United States, Brazil, Austria, Italy, France, Belgium, China, Great Britain, Finland and the Netherlands.