FBO Annual Conference 2024

Event Date:

May 30, 2024

Event Time:

11:30 am

Event Location:

Steam Whistle

FBO Annual Conference

Date: May 30th 2024

Time: 11:30 am – 6:30 pm

Location: Steam Whistle Brewery, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9

Mark your calendars for a day of innovation, collaboration, and celebration as we invite you to Food and Beverage Ontario’s Annual Conference on May 30, 2024, hosted at the renowned Steam Whistle Brewery. We eagerly anticipate reconnecting with our valued community to share insights, experiences, and discoveries.

The event kicks off with a delectable lunch, followed by captivating presentations from four esteemed speakers, including Benjamin Tal, Ajay Agrawal, Althia Raj, and David Coletto. To culminate our day, immerse yourself in a two-hour networking session featuring exquisite Ontario wines, Steam Whistle Pilsner, and appetizers – an ideal setting to forge new connections and foster collaboration.

What past attendees are saying:

“The FBO Annual Conference has provided informative keynote speakers addressing issues affecting us all in the industry. It has allowed us to connect with others in the industry in a great social setting and to make new connections. Each year gets better and better, well done FBO!”

Mark Josephs, President Kisko

“During these challenging times operating our Food Businesses it is always difficult to find the time to attend our Industry events, however I always find the time to attend the FBO annual conference. There are very informative speakers who are relevant and impactful but most of all when our community gathers, we collaborate to share solutions to make things better in the food industry.”

Doug Alexander, Vice President, Sustainability and Government Relations

Don’t miss out on the Ontario food and beverage industry’s must-attend event!

If you need any help with registering or have any questions about the conference or sponsorship, please reach out to Jason Crawford, Director of Membership and Industry Relations at jcrawford@foodandbeverageontario.ca.

2024 Annual Conference Agenda

  • 10:30 AM – registration opens
  • 11:30 AM – lunch
  • 12:30 PM – Conference opens
  • 12:40 PM – Benjamin Tal
  • 1:30 PM – David Coletto
  • 2:30 PM – Althia Raj
  • 3:30 PM – Ajay Agrawal
  • 4:40 PM – Networking featuring appetizers, Steam Whistle Pilsner and Ontario Craft Wines

Registration prices (registration form below):

Food and Beverage Members: $425

Non-members: $700

Contact Jason Crawford at jcrawford@foodandbeverageontario.ca for any issues with registering.

Proud Platinum Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors


Event Sponsors:



Benjamin Tal

Deputy Chief Economist CIBC World Markets Inc.

Mr. Tal is responsible for analyzing economic developments and their implications for North American fixed income, equity, foreign exchange and commodities markets. He also acts in an advisory capacity to bank officers on issues related to wealth management, household/corporate credit and risk.

Well-known for his ground-breaking published research on topics such as labour market dynamics, real estate, credit markets, international trade and business economic conditions, Mr. Tal not only contributes to the conversation, but frequently sets the agenda.

He has close to 20 years’ experience in the private sector advising clients, industry leaders, corporate boards, trade associations, and governments on economic and financial issues.

National and global media regularly seek him out for his insight and analysis on economic issues that impact financial markets, consumers, corporations and public policy. He is also a frequent lecturer in the economic programs of various Canadian universities.

Mr. Tal is a member of the Economic Committee of The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, The Economic Development Committee of the Toronto Board of Trade. He is also a member of the board of Governors of Junior Achievement of Central Ontario, and a board member of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance.

Ajay Agrawal

Founder of the Creative Destruction Lab

AJAY AGRAWAL founded the Creative Destruction Lab, which—over the past ten years—has accelerated over a thousand AI-related start-ups in fields as varied as medical devices, manufacturing, retail, energy, materials science, agriculture, quantum computing, biotech, autonomous driving, space, insurance, and pharmaceuticals. The companies nurtured through his program have created over $28 billion in equity value via 13 sites including Toronto, Seattle, Atlanta, Oxford, Paris, Berlin, Montreal, and Vancouver.

He is a true authority on the economics of AI who has deep relationships with business leaders, serves as an advisor to heads of state, and is a thought leader that other AI experts turn to. He’s also written the two most important books on the business of AI: Prediction Machines and Power and Prediction. His presentations are grounded by his practical insights, which makes him a perfect choice to lead the discussion of how AI will change our personal lives, our professions, our businesses, our society, and our civilization.

David Coletto

Chair, and CEO of Abacus Data

Infinitely curious, passionate, and eternally optimistic—these are just a few words to describe David Coletto, the founder, Chair, and CEO of Abacus Data. With a career spanning over two decades, David has devoted his life to exploring what people think and feel about their work, their lives, and their politics. He believes that understanding what motivates and informs people’s worldview, we can create a more understanding, empathetic, and action-driven world.

David is one of Canada’s best known and most respected public opinion analysts, pollsters, and social researchers. He works with some of North America and Europe’s biggest and most respected brands, associations, and unions and is frequently called upon by news organizations, to assess public opinion as events happen.

He speaks to thousands of people in audiences – from massive national conferences to intimate briefings in boardrooms – across North America and Europe.

“Coletto is the CEO of Abacus Data, and in my opinion the best pollster in the country…He has a knack for knowing exactly what people want and respond to.” – Ottawa Citizen, October 28, 2022


Althia Raj

Althia Raj previously served as HuffPost Canada’s senior editorial manager and its Ottawa bureau chief, from the news site’s inception in 2011 until its closure in March, 2021. She set up the Ottawa bureau and later ran its bilingual newsroom, overseeing its political coverage of Parliament Hill and of the National Assembly in Quebec City. In 2017, she launched “Follow-Up,” a bi-monthly politics podcast she hosted and produced.

Althia was one of the moderators of the 2019 federal election debate. She also organized and moderated a federal NDP leaders debate in 2017 and the Ontario PC leadership debate in 2018.

She has consistently been ranked in The Hill Times list of the top 100 most influential people in Canadian politics since 2015. She is also the recipient of several digital media awards for her multi-media election coverage.

Prior to joining HuffPost, Althia was a national political reporter for Postmedia News and an Ottawa bureau reporter for QMI/Sun Media. She also worked as a network producer for CTV and as an associate producer for the CBC Radio program “The House.”

Currently, Althia is a panelist on CBC’s political forum “At Issue”. She is also a weekly contributor to CPAC’s French-language program “L’Essentiel” and the Friday guest of its “Today In Politics” podcast.


Register Now:

Ticket type: Ticket Qty: Per Ticket Price:
Non-member Ticket Qty: Per Ticket Price: $700
Quantity: Total
  • Steam Whistle
  • 255 Bremner Blvd
  • Toronto
  • ON
  • M5V 3M9

Event Schedule Details

  • May 30, 2024 11:30 am   -   6:30 pm
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