About Us



CANZA was co-founded in 2023 by a diverse group of leading organizations who are deeply committed to taking action – and leveraging their extensive networks and value-chain partners – to achieve a shared vision: a net-zero agri-food system for Canada!

Providing a platform for action-oriented research, thought leadership and collaboration, CANZA helps to harness the ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and resources of this complex but critical ecosystem to achieve this ambitious mission, CANZA will coordinate and catalyze opportunities through a flexible and evolving platform of pilots, regional projects, and scalable innovations. This ground-up innovation approach starts in partnership with farmers, by collaborating on solutions that meet their needs and making sure they have the support (financial or otherwise) they need to implement these solutions successfully.

Why Now?

The world’s food systems are at a turning point, and Canada is well-positioned to be the sustainable breadbasket of the world.  Canada must make significant progress toward its net-zero targets and increase agricultural productivity to maintain food security as the global population grows.

While these conditions appear conflicting, the agri-food system actually has the opportunity to be at the heart of a climate-smart movement that helps Canada achieve its 2030 and 2050 climate targets. Several key levers have been identified to reduce emissions and drive economic growth, however, these initiatives require industry-wide leadership and cross-cutting partnerships with governments, farmers, and other stakeholders across the agri-food value chain

CANZA appreciates that there are several active alliances/initiatives/associations working towards a sustainable agri-food system and will seek to collaborate, learn from, and build upon existing efforts underway in Canada and around the world.


CANZA operates as an initiative of The Natural Step Canada, an independently incorporated charity since 1996, which is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors.

The CANZA Executive Committee sets broad strategic direction, provides thought leadership, and holds the initiative accountable for achieving bold and measurable outcomes. It is made up of top executives from CANZA’s Founding Partners and Convening Partners.

The CANZA Operating Committee is empowered to carry out decisions of the Executive Committee and works with various stakeholders to advance projects, secure resources, and provide direction and counsel to the Secretariat. It is appointed by the Executive Committee and made up of senior representatives from the Founding Partners and the Convening Partners.

The CANZA Secretariat carries out the day-to-day work of the initiative and is made up of staff and contractors of The Natural Step Canada (TNS) and the Smart Prosperity Institute (SPI), as well as the University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute.

As CANZA expands its work it will develop an Expert Advisory Group, a Champion’s Network, and project-level Steering Committees as and when needed.