CFA president joins WFO board

CFA president joins WFO board
Jul 08, 2020

Mary Robinson will serve for two years on the board of the World Farmers’ Organization

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) has joined the board of a global industry group for a two-year term.

The World Farmers’ Organization (WFO), which brings together more than 50 national industry groups and co-operatives, and represents around 1.3 billion farmers globally, officially welcomed Mary Robinson to its board at the end of June where she will serve as North America’s representative.

The WFO’s mission is to “be the voice of farmers, advocate on their behalf on international processes and focusing on not just the present but the future as well,” Robinson told “It’s very exciting. I’m looking forward to learning more about the organization and how we can contribute to making agriculture better globally.”

In North America, Canada and the United States alternate WFO board membership every two years. The National Farmers Union represents the U.S. at the WFO.

Mexico currently isn’t part of the WFO, but the organization is working to have them come on board, Robinson said.

Acting as the representative for North America, open dialogue with industry reps in the U.S. will be important to ensure her messages to fellow WFO board members highlight issues on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, she said.

One of the first items Robinson will work on as a WFO board member is preparing for an event in 2021.

António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations (UN), will convene a Food Systems Summit next year to generate ideas on how to transform food systems to resolve hunger, reduce diet-related disease and improve the planet overall.

“In response to this, the WFO adopted a paper presenting the viewpoint of global farming systems and the role farmers can play in developing a sustainable food system,” Robinson said. “This will be used by the WFO to inform and provide farmers’ input at the UN summit.”

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