David Shambrock, Executive Director

David assumed the role of CFI Executive Director in September 2018. From 2013 to 2018, he served as the first Chair of the CFI board. David has spent much of his career supporting industry-led initiatives that create platforms for industry to work together towards common objectives.

In 2008, David was one of the driving forces in establishing the Canadian Council of Food Processors (now called Food and Beverage Canada) that links Canada’s food manufacturers across the country through its provincial trade associations. It also created the base to establish CFI, which has evolved to become the focal point for food industry innovation in Canada.

David has served as the Director of the Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba where he developed new networks and strategic partnerships with industry, universities, and other R&D institutions. He has also worked as an NRC IRAP Industrial Technology Advisor focussed on the food manufacturing sector in western Canada. David has served on many national boards and committees, holds graduate degrees in Food Science and Business Administration, and is a Certified Management Consultant.


James Farrar, Corporate Secretary

James is a CPA CGA with more than 35 years’ experience in the food and agriculture sector. At an earlier stage of his career, James was the CFO of a small to medium enterprise (SME) in the food manufacturing business with operations in Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Subsequently, he served as Director of the Food Industry Competitiveness Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to support the needs of the post-farm gate food sector in Ontario.

James has had training in Not-for-Profit governance and has extensive experience in applying for and administering government grant programs. He is passionate about obtaining returns from investment of private and taxpayer funds in innovation projects.


Lilian Schaer, Communications Manager

Lilian is an experienced independent communications professional with a solid understanding of agriculture, agriscience and agritechnology. She is also an award-winning freelance writer for many of Canada’s leading farm publications, covering everything from horticulture and consumer issues to livestock and crop production, but with a particular interest in innovation.

Lilian also works directly with many agricultural boards, organizations and businesses, including CFI, on communications-related projects, writing, and event planning and management.

Lilian is a graduate of the University of Guelph and the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program.