Keynote speaker for organic conference is Wayne Roberts

The 28th an­nual Organic Conference, Expo and Tasting Fair here on Jan. 22 to 25 will feature Dr. Wayne Roberts as its keynote speaker.

Today’s population is sub­ject to worldwide effects from growing threats of peak oil, global warming, population overload and destruction of the natural environment. Such threats exist independent of our will. How we deal with those changes will be the topic of Roberts’ address.

In response to those impending problems, there will need to be a physical recon­struc­tion of our global food system. What Roberts refers to as "hardware" changes – the re­tool­ing of industries to transition toward a society based on sustainable energy, food production and delivery systems.

Unilaterally, Roberts sug­gests that consumers will look upon food in a different light. The result of addressing the hardware changes will be a rise of consciousness and connec­ted­ness. Food will become more than another commodity.

Roberts has worked all his life to link social justice, public health, job creation and envi­ron­mental protection. With a Ph.D in history from the Uni­versity of Toronto, he taught McMaster University’s labour studies program, hosted CBC radio’s Rank and File, and pens articles for a number of Newspapers and periodicals. 

He is the recipient of the Planet in Focus Eco-Hero award for 2008. Roberts is the author of three books, Get A Life, Real Food For A Change, and The No Nonsense Guide to World Food.

He will speak at the confer­ence, on Jan. 24, 9am, at Uni­versity of Guelph’s Roz­anski Hall. Admission is $15. Register by mail or on-line at

Celebrating its 28th year, the four day event includes international speakers, semi­nars and introductory work­shops on topics includ­ing GMOs, organic production and certification, food in a chang­ing climate, eco-villages, earth buildings, farmland protection and food security.

From producer to eater, the workshops offer something for everyone. Plus, there is a tasting fair with more than 160 exhibitors on Saturday and Sunday, free to the public. This is an opportunity to sample and purchase a plethora of organic, fair trade products and meet the makers.