The CIPP travels to the Annual Canadian Food Law and Policy Conference in Ottawa

In early November, the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy traveled to the Second Annual Canadian Food Law and Policy Conference, which was hosted by the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. This year’s conference, “Taking Stock/Prenons La Mesure”, came at a critical juncture. Recent developments in the Canadian IP landscape, such as the proposed amendments to the Trade-marks Act, have had great repercussions for food law and policy. Furthermore, the Government of Canada is tasked with making a Food Policy for Canada, which is bound to address IP concerns related to food.

The Centre’s director Professor Pierre-Emmanuel Moyse moderated the panel Made in Canada?: Food and Place. Panelists Marsha Cadogan, Matteo Ferrari, and Renata Watkin shared their research and comments on geographical indications (GIs), the impacts of CETA on Canada’s IP landscape, and the legal mechanisms for protecting terroir, place, and quality. The panelists all emphasized the pressing need for Canada to implement international GI protections for Canadian producers. Policy suggestions for moving forward included the development of GI epistemic communities, increasing the role of certifications in guaranteeing quality, and the advancement of provincial regulatory frameworks.

Thanks to generous contributions from Lallemand, CIPP’s Food Law Scholar, Jessica Cytryn, along with President of the McGill Food Law Society, Talia Ralph, organized for a delegation of ten students to attend the conference. This gave them an opportunity to participate in the development and expansion of Canadian food and IP law, and to contribute to proposals for new food laws and policies that will have direct impacts on food producers, distributors, and consumers. McGill had a strong presence throughout the conference, with presentations by Professor Nandini Ramanujam and DCL candidate and conference organizer Sarah Berger-Richardson.

With the Centre’s involvement at the Ottawa conference, and last month’s talk on GIs and terroir, it is safe to say that CIPP’s new food law stream is well under way.

From left to right: Pierre-Emmanuel Moyse, Renata Watkin, Matteo Ferrari, Marsha Cadogan.

This content has been updated on March 30, 2018 at 12:40.