Communications

Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) Welcomes Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) Finalized Guidance for Gene Edited Plants, Opening Doors to Agricultural Innovation

(OTTAWA ON – MAY 3RD 2024) GGC today applauds the release of CFIA’s long awaited final guidance on novel feed, marking the completion of a trio of regulatory updates that enable the introduction of gene-edited crops in Canada. These updates, initiated in 2018, are designed to foster agricultural innovation in plant breeding by addressing today’s farming challenges such as pest and disease management, yield improvements, drought resistance, and the nutritional quality of crops.

“This progress opens doors to innovation in Canadian agriculture, enabling the introduction of gene-edited crops that meet pressing agricultural challenges like drought, pests, and diseases, while enhancing nutritional quality,” said Andre Harpe, Chair of Grain Growers of Canada. “The updated guidance enables us to use the latest innovation in plant technology to produce nutritious and affordable food for Canadians and our international customers.”

The regulatory guidance aligns Canada’s regulations with our trading partners, ensuring Canadian farmers remain competitive globally. It is based on rigorous, science-driven assessments that guarantee the safety and efficacy of gene-edited crops.

“Completing this trio of regulations is a milestone that began five years ago, reflecting our joint commitment with government agencies to promote a regulatory environment that supports innovation while ensuring safety and transparency,” said William van Tassel, 1st Vice Chair of Grain Growers of Canada. “With these updated guidelines, our farmers can access advanced tools to produce crops with better resiliency and higher yields, while meeting the demands of the market today and the future.”

The clarity provided by these regulatory updates is expected to accelerate the development and adoption of new plant varieties, crucial for enhancing the competitiveness of Canadian agriculture.

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For more information:

Hana Sabah
Communications Manager
P: (514) 834-8841
E: hana@graingrowers.ca

Grain Farmers Across Canada Call for Resolution as Railway Workers Vote to Strike

(Ottawa, ON – May 1, 2024) Following the recent announcement that over 95% of railway workers at Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) have voted in favour of strike action as early as May 22, Grain Growers of Canada (GGC), representing over 65,000 grain farmers across the country, calls for an urgent resolution to prevent potentially mass disruptions to the agricultural sector and the broader Canadian economy.

Andre Harpe, Chair of the Grain Growers of Canada, stated, “As farmers, our operations are closely tied to rail transport, both inbound to access crop inputs and outbound to deliver grain to export position. A rail strike now is the last thing we need. We’re at a critical point in the seeding season, and any delay in shipping can directly affect our bottom line and cause substantial economic losses across the agricultural sector.”

The potential for a combined strike at both CN and CPKC could severely impact the grain sector, which is highly dependent on rail transportation due to Canada’s vast geography. Approximately 94% of Canadian grain is transported by rail, with a significant portion destined for export markets. A disruption in rail service could leave grain elevators unable to accept crops from farmers due to limited storage capacity, resulting in delayed payments and financial hardships for growers.

“We are deeply worried about the impact a strike would have, not just on our operations but on Canada’s reputation as a reliable supplier. Consecutive supply chain disruptions have already strained our relationships with international buyers. Another stoppage could drive them to seek other markets, affecting us long-term,” added Brendan Phillips, 2nd Vice Chair of GGC.

GGC emphasizes the two-fold impact of the dispute: domestically, grain elevators will face storage issues, port terminals will suffer demurrage, and internationally, Canada risks weakening trade relations due to unreliable grain deliveries. In June 2023, Canada exported over 2.6 million metric tonnes of grain, highlighting the potential economic loss of over $35 million for each day in June that a strike persists.

Grain Growers of Canada stresses the importance of uninterrupted rail service for the agriculture sector’s sustainability and international competitiveness. “We urge the unions and railway companies to consider the broader impact of their negotiations. It’s crucial to find a resolution that keeps our trains moving and our grain flowing to markets around the world,” Harpe concluded.

As the mediation period begins, GGC is advocating strongly for a resolution that ensures the stability and continuity of Canada’s grain supply chain, which is essential for the livelihoods of Canadian grain farmers, our country’s food security, and our economy.

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For more information:

Hana Sabah
Communications Manager
P: (514) 834-8841
E: hana@graingrowers.ca

Grain Growers of Canada welcomes Mr. David Hunt as the new Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission

(OTTAWA – April 24, 2024) Grain Growers of Canada welcomes Mr. David Hunt as the new Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission. The Canadian grains sector has significantly evolved over the past forty years, necessitating updates to the Canadian Grain Act to keep pace with changes in international markets, crop varieties, and farm operations.

“Our engagement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and our submission to the Canada Grain Act Review consultation highlight our commitment to modernizing this legislation to better serve grain farmers,” said Kyle Larkin, Executive Director of Grain Growers of Canada.

“We extend our gratitude to Mr. Doug Chorney for his dedicated service as the Chief Commissioner since 2017 and wish him the best in his future endeavours. We look forward to collaborating with Mr. Hunt to advance these important reforms, ensuring our Canadian growers remain competitive and continue to meet the highest standards of grain quality,” concluded Larkin.

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For more information:

Hana Sabah
Communications Manager
P: (514) 834-8841
E: hana@graingrowers.ca

Budget 2024 Falls Short of Providing Critical Investments for Grain Farmers

(OTTAWA, ON – APRIL 16, 2024) Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) today expressed their disappointment in several policy areas missed in Budget 2024. These include an extension to the extended rail interswitching pilot, investments in trade-enabling infrastructure, investments in grain-related research and development, initiating a review of the Canada Grains Act, and revamping the Accelerated Investment Incentive.

“Budget 2024 misses the mark in recognizing the importance of expanding food production in Canada and supporting the profitability of grain farmers,” began Kyle Larkin, Executive Director of GGC. “One of the best ways to support the sector is through plant breeding innovation something the budget fails to address.”

International customers of Canadian grains are continuously seeking for predictability in Canada’s deliveries. However, transportation and supply-chain disruptions over the past years have impacted the confidence of some of the country’s largest trading partners.

“Canada is in dire need of major investments in trade-enabling infrastructure, many of which were laid out by the government’s supply-chain taskforce. This includes removing pressure points and increasing port capacity and fluidity, particularly in Vancouver,” continued Larkin.

The Canada Grains Act has also not been updated for decades and does not fully serve the 21st century grain farmer. For example, canola producers are unable to receive a second opinion from the Canadian Grain Commission at canola crushing facilities, something that is available to them at grain elevators.

“The Canada Grains Act is the enabling legislation that supports grain farmers and needs to be modernized to reflect the realities of 2024. Furthermore, allowing the Accelerated Investment Incentive to phase out, which offers bonus depreciation to growers, limits the ability of grain producers to purchase the most efficient and environmentally friendly equipment on the market,” said Larkin.

Budget 2024 proposes some support for biofuel production, reiterates the increased interest-free portion of the Advanced Payments Program, and increases the lifetime capital gains exemption for farming property to $1.25 million. However, the budget also repeats a commitment from Budget 2023 that relates to right to repair and interoperability.

“Grain farmers have been waiting patiently since Budget 2023 for a consultation on right to repair and interoperability for farm equipment. Unfortunately, this budget has shortcomings in key policy priorities for farmers, such as infrastructure, innovation, tax incentives, and delays in other policy areas,” concluded Larkin.  

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About Grain Growers of Canada (GGC):

As the national voice for Canada’s grain farmers, Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) represents over 65,000 producers through our 14 national, provincial and regional grower groups. Our members are trade oriented, sustainable and innovative. As a farmer-driven association for the grains industry, GGC advocates for federal policy that supports the competitiveness and profitability of grain growers across Canada. Learn more at: www.GrainGrowers.ca.

For more information:

Hana Sabah
Communications Manager
P: (514) 834-8841
E: hana@graingrowers.ca

Grain Growers of Canada Launch Road to 2050 Policy Recommendations

(OTTAWA, ON – APRIL 9, 2024) Today, Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) launched its Road to 2050 policy recommendations, an initiative aimed at shaping federal government programs for the sustainable intensification of the grain sector. The launch comes against the backdrop of critical challenges, including the need to feed an expanding global population, address climate change, and maintain the economic viability of Canada’s grain farms.

“Facing the urgent need to feed more people, tackle climate change, and keep grain farms profitable, Canadian grain growers are leading with innovative sustainable practices. These efforts not only reduce our carbon footprint but also play a crucial role in achieving Canada’s climate goals,” said Andre Harpe, GGC Chair.

Over the past two decades, the grain sector has achieved considerable strides in environmental sustainability by maintaining stable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while increasing production. This resulted in a 50% reduction in GHG emission intensity from 1997 to 2017 in the agriculture sector, surpassing the 36% reduction across the Canadian economy during the same timeframe.

With a $30 billion contribution to Canada’s GDP, the grain sector recognizes the necessity of continuous innovation and investment to sustain production.

“For decades, grain farmers have been at the forefront of sustainability, making Canada a global leader in producing grain with the lowest emissions possible,” said William van Tassel, 1st Vice Chair of GGC. “Yet, boosting our competitiveness and commitment to emission reductions demands a significant increase in research and development investments. These investments are essential for overcoming current obstacles and leveraging future opportunities.”

The Road to 2050 policy recommendations is aimed at getting the government to partner with grain farmers to reduce emissions, together. Recommendations include increasing public and private breeding research, expanding eligibility criteria and funding for current climate programs, and developing a data management strategy.

“Grain farmers stand ready to partner with government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also increasing production to meet a growing global food demand,” continued Harpe. “It’s clear that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach across Canada, but by working together, we can ensure that the sector continues to be part of the solution.”

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About Grain Growers of Canada (GGC):

As the national voice for Canada’s grain farmers, Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) represents over 65,000 producers through our 14 national, provincial and regional grower groups. Our members are trade oriented, sustainable and innovative. As a farmer-driven association for the grains industry, GGC advocates for federal policy that supports the competitiveness and profitability of grain growers across Canada. Learn more at: www.GrainGrowers.ca.

For more information:

Hana Sabah
Communications Manager
P: (514) 834-8841
E: hana@graingrowers.ca

Grain Growers of Canada Applauds Government Boost to Farmer Support Through Enhanced Loan Program

(OTTAWA—MARCH 25, 2024) Grain Growers of Canada applauds the Government of Canada’s announcement today to offer a $250,000 interest-free portion of the Advanced Payments Program (APP) this year to farmers across Canada. APP advances are important in supporting the cash flow of grain farmers and meeting their financial needs until they can sell their grain.

“We commend Minister MacAulay and the government for this announcement, which will support thousands of grain farmers across the country,” stated Andre Harpe, Chair of GGC. With the rising cost of inputs and low grain prices at harvest, a higher interest-free portion of the APP is needed.”

GGC recognizes the importance of early announcements like this, which provide both predictability and stability, ensuring that grain farmers and administrators can efficiently plan their financial strategies for the year ahead. GGC looks forward to working with the government to ensure the APP continues to support grain farmers.

Kyle Larkin, Executive Director of Grain Growers of Canada, is available for interview.

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About Grain Growers of Canada (GGC):

As the national voice for Canada’s grain farmers, Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) represents over 65,000 producers through our 14 national, provincial and regional grower groups. Our members are trade-oriented, sustainable and innovative. As a farmer-driven association for the grains industry, GGC advocates for federal policy that supports the competitiveness and profitability of grain growers across Canada. Learn more at: www.GrainGrowers.ca.

 

For media inquiries, contact: 

Hana Sabah
hana@graingrowers.ca | 514-834-8841
Communications Manager
Grain Growers of Canada 

Grain Growers of Canada express deep disappointment as Senate amends Bill C-234

Dec. 6, 2023 (Ottawa, ON) – The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) express deep disappointment following the Senate’s rejection of Bill C-234, an Act to Amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which sought to exempt propane and natural gas from carbon pricing for on-farm activities.

“We look to the Senate for sober second thought, but not to reject the will of the House of Commons,” says GGC executive director Kyle Larkin. 

“Members of Parliament from every political party passed C-234 in the House due to the fact that no viable alternatives exist for the use of propane and natural gas for on-farm activities. We are deeply disappointed that the Senate amended the legislation, sending it back to the House of Commons where its status will be unclear.” 

Bill C-234 aims to provide farmers with an exemption from carbon pricing on propane and natural gas, essential for vital farming processes such as drying grain and heating and cooling barns and growing structures. The costs associated with innovation and current technology are substantial, and presently, there are no viable alternative fuel sources available. This legislation would have restored working capital for farmers, enabling them to invest in emerging technologies that would reduce carbon emissions while also meeting the escalating global demand for food.

“The spirit of carbon pricing is to encourage behavioural change,” Larkin adds. “The amending of C-234 leaves farmers with this continued unjust taxation, impeding their ability to invest in technologies and practices that will help them meet our sustainability goals and global demand.”

Similar legislation had been circulated for years but never passed due to the proroguing of Parliament. The amending of Bill C-234 at this stage is profoundly disappointing for both farmers and the industry, who have long advocated for this essential legislation.

“C-234 has been years in the making, while grain farmers across Canada have unfairly had to pay this tax without any way of avoiding it. We are now asking Members of Parliament to debate and pass the bill unamended as soon as possible. It’s time for the government to give our food producers a well-deserved break,” concluded Larkin.

 

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For media inquiries, contact: 

Hayley Stacey
Hayley@colesag.com
Communications Lead
204-804-3333

Grain Growers of Canada applaud government’s commitment to right-to-repair amendment 

Nov. 21, 2023 (Ottawa, ON) – The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) celebrate the incorporation of the Competition Act amendment in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, a move aimed at bolstering the right to repair for grain farmers.

“Enabling growers to access essential tools and software for maintaining their equipment, such as tractors and combines, will foster a more equitable landscape between manufacturers and consumers,” states Kyle Larkin, executive director of GGC.

The right to repair enables farmers to gain access to the tools and software to repair their own equipment, saving time during critical periods of the year and reducing costs through the introduction of competitive forces. Additionally, enabling cross-manufacturer communication among farm equipment expands farmer options, driving both competition and innovation.

GGC looks forward to collaborating with the government to ensure that the right-to-repair policies fully support grain farmers across Canada.


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For more information:

Hayley Stacey

Communications Consultant

Hayley@colesag.com

204-804-3333

Grain Growers of Canada Applaud Senate’s Rejection of Bill C-234 Amendment, Call for Swift Action to Safeguard Farmers’ Future

Nov. 7, 2023 (Ottawa, ON) The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) commends Senators for rejecting the proposed amendment to Bill C-234, an Act to Amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, eliminating provisions concerning the heating and cooling of barns and structures.

“The rejected amendment would have denied financial relief to tens of thousands of hardworking livestock, greenhouse growers, and farmers, placing undue pressure on their livelihoods and our food security,” says Kyle Larkin, Executive Director of GGC.

Larkin emphasizes the sector’s shared technical constraints and the absence of viable alternatives, saying, “Current innovations come at a high cost, and carbon pricing on essential farm practices diverts funds from these crucial investments.

“To enhance outcomes, we must empower farmers by returning capital to them, enabling investments in operational efficiencies,” adds Larkin.

Farmers presently incur a carbon price when using natural gas and propane for necessary farming practices. Lacking viable alternatives, pricing these activities fails to lower emissions effectively.

Larkin explains, “The exemptions proposed in Bill C-234 are essential to restore working capital in farmers’ hands, enabling investments in operational efficiencies. To safeguard farmers’ profitability, sustainability and our food security, GGC urges Senators to swiftly pass this legislation at third reading. Canadian farmers have waited too long, and further delays risk withholding essential support they urgently need.”


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For more information:

Hayley Stacey

Communications Consultant

Hayley@colesag.com

204-804-3333

Grain Growers of Canada call on Senators to reject delaying Bill C-234

Oct 24. 2023 (Ottawa, ON) – The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) are calling on all Senators to reject the Agriculture and Forestry committee’s approved amendment to remove the heating and cooling of barns and greenhouses from Bill C-234, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.

“We are disappointed to see some Senators on the committee vote in favour of a harmful amendment that will only serve to further delay C-234,” says Kyle Larkin, Executive Director of GGC. “Proceeding with this amendment will cost farmers thousands of dollars which otherwise could be invested in the sustainability and efficiency of their operations.” 

Although grain dryers remain exempt from carbon pricing on natural gas and propane, the recent amendment introduces a troubling double standard within the industry. Failure to reject this amendment on the Senate floor will lead to substantial delays in passing the legislation, requiring it to be sent back to the House of Commons for additional review.

Bill C-234, as written, recognizes the lack of viable alternatives for grain drying. However, GGC insists the same standard must apply to livestock ranchers and fruit and vegetable growers facing similar technological constraints. 

“Let me be clear, there are no viable alternatives for natural gas and propane grain dryers on the market or in development. The same holds true for barn heating and cooling technology, which is far from meeting livestock requirements,” continued Larkin. “Canada’s grain farmers stand with our partners in the livestock and grower industry,” . 

Canada’s grain farmers are, however, grateful that a proposal to shorten the sunset clause to three years instead of eight was defeated by a majority of Senators at the Agriculture and Forestry committee. This would not only have delayed the legislation even further, but would have impacted farmers in the future. 

In the spirit of protecting farmers’ profitability and sustainability, GGC urges all Senators to reject the amendment at the report stage and pass C-234 in earnest to provide needed certainty before year-end.


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Corrected: 11:30 am EST.

For more information:

Hayley Stacey

Communications Consultant

Hayley@colesag.com

204-804-3333