University of Guelph Receives Largest-Ever Gift to Create Arrell Food Institute


The University of Guelph has received its single largest-ever gift — $20 million from the Arrell Family Foundation — to establish the Arrell Food Institute at U of G.

“This landmark gift will allow our University to address the defining challenge of our time: food security, safety and sustainability,” said U of G president Franco Vaccarino, in a statement issued by the school.

The Arrell Food Institute will “bring together cutting-edge research, agricultural expertise, big data, environmental science, business and civil society,” said the university.

Tony Arrell, a U of G alumnus and chair and CEO of Toronto-based Burgundy Asset Management, and his wife, Anne, started the Arrell Family Foundation in 1999. They were joined by their daughters Laura, Ashleigh and Nicole at the gift announcement on Wednesday.

“The Arrell Food Institute will influence research, policy, practice and behaviour. It’s a bold initiative, and its impacts extend nationally and globally,” said Tony Arrell.

The university will be matching the donation for a total commitment to the institute of $40 million.

“This gift will help U of G and Canada to lead the agri-food revolution,” said Evan Fraser, director of the Arrell Food Institute and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security. “The same technologies that created the Internet and are transforming medicine are now being applied to farmers’ fields and to food processing factories — we can produce more food on less land using fewer inputs.”

U of G is known as “Canada’s food university,” noted Vaccarino. “We also have a reputation for collaborating to help solve complex global problems. Those strengths are both reflected in our new Arrell Food Institute.”

A promotional video from the the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph:

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