Jennifer Clapp wins prestigious Killam Research Fellowship

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Picture of Jennifer Clapp smiling

Waterloo food security expert Jennifer Clapp has been awarded a Killam fellowship for her work on the rise of agrifood mega-companies and the implications for the global food system. 

During her fellowship, Clapp will conduct research on how corporate consolidation and the financialization in the agrifood sector create new risks for the food system. Clapp will also look at the dynamics of international policy responses to these shifts. 

“A Killam fellowship is one of the greatest achievements a Canadian scholar can achieve in any discipline,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, President of the University of Waterloo. “We’re incredibly proud that Dr. Clapp is again recognized as a global leader in food security — something critical to our efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Clapp’s award comes at a time when our global food system is in peril due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her recent opinion piece published in the New York Times revealed how a trend towards corporate consolidation and commodity specialization results in the paradoxical situation in which significant amounts of food are being destroyed around the world as a growing number of people are going hungry.

“Heartbreaking images of spoiled dairy, rotting vegetables, and animals needlessly destroyed should make us all reconsider how efficient our food systems really are,” said Clapp. “I am extremely grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts for supporting me as I investigate the causes and consequences of the rise of mega-companies in the food system, and how diverse local markets and sustainable production can make our food system more resilient.”  

Clapp, a Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability, was also awarded a Trudeau Fellowship in 2013. In 2018 Clapp won the Innes Gérin Medal for contributions to the Social Sciences from the Royal Society of Canada.

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