media release

World Food Day draws United Nations event to SFU, focus on water’s role in food

October 16, 2023

A critical discussion on the global state of food, including the need to support the world’s water supply, will be the focus of a United Nations event at Simon Fraser University’s Wosk Centre for Dialogue starting today, October 16, from 12:30 – 4:30 pm (PST). The event, World Food Day: Water is Life, Water is Food; Leave no one Behind, will also be livestreamed.

Key stakeholders—including policymakers, Indigenous groups, food business owners, farmers and journalists—will discuss such topics as improving water conservation in food systems, creating a ‘blue future’ for food, generating opportunities for better water management, among others.

The event is co-hosted by SFU, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations North America, Food Tank, Driscoll’s, Compass Group, and the University of British Columbia.

SFU professors Zafar Adeel, acting director of the School of Energy Engineering (SEE) and executive director of the Pacific Water Research Centre, and Tammara Soma, director of the Food Systems Lab in the Faculty of Environment, will be among speakers and can be available for interviews. Faculty Dean Naomi Kruger will also speak and close the event.

Meanwhile SFU Ancillary Services is leading a delegation to Rome on October 17 to participate in and host several sessions at this week’s UN FAO World Food Forum event (Oct. 16-20). The theme of this year's event, 'Food Action accelerates Climate Action', aligns with Ancillary Services’ ongoing sustainable enhancements to the university’s food systems, says senior director Sid Mehta.

“This is a significant event as Canada highlights the role of Indigenous food systems in climate action,” says Mehta. “Through our delegation, we aim to showcase our commitment to linking food action with climate action on a global stage.”

During the visit Mehta will share details of the university’s initiative to integrate Indigenous food and culture into its food program— while chefs, students, youth delegates, and Indigenous partners from SFU and its partners will be attending an Indigenous Youth Forum.

Mehta can be available Monday and will have limited availability while in Rome and again upon his return.


ZAFAR ADEEL, acting director, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering; executive director, Pacific Water Research Centre

SID MEHTA, senior director, Ancillary Services

TAMMARA SOMA, assistant professor, Faculty of Environment; director, Food Systems Lab


RAY SHARMA, SFU Communications & Marketing


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