Canada celebrates success of wheat and barley check-offs
Canadian Member of Parliament, Ted Menzies, has highlighted the success of wheat and barley check-offs over the past year.
"Research and market development activities are vital for the Western Canadian grain value chain, and with the success of the producer check-off, producers can be confident that their businesses will remain on the cutting edge of research and innovation," said Menzies. "This check-off will continue to help the Western grain industry grow, increase profitability at the farm gate, and contribute to a stronger Canadian economy."
On August 1, 2012, new regulations for a check-off to support research, market development and technical assistance for the Western grain industry came into force to ensure that the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI) and the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) would receive continued funding, as they did previously through the Canadian Wheat Board from revenue earned on Western Canadian farmers' wheat and barley sales.
Since the check-offs came into force a year ago, funding to the WGRF, the CIGI and the CMBTC has remained stable, allowing them to continue their important work in the research and development of new varieties, the identification of new marketing opportunities and the education of the uses and performance benefits of Canadian wheat and barley. These efforts are giving wheat and barley producers, and Canada's grain sector as a whole, a competitive edge in the global marketplace, with 70% of the wheat grown in Canada being shipped beyond our borders.
The voluntary check-off, charged at point of sale, is used to fund new variety research as well as new marketing opportunities. The check-off is applied to wheat and barley grown in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and the Peace River District of British Columbia, and is administered by the Alberta Barley Commission.
"The inaugural year of the program worked well because of the collaborative efforts of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission and its licensed dealers, and, of course, the wheat and barley farmers of Western Canada," said Alberta Barley Commission General Manager Lisa Skierka. "We look forward to continuing the program over the next year as the new provincial wheat and barley organizations in Western Canada grow and evolve."
Canadian grain producers have a bright future in an open market where they are free to respond to market demands by innovating their farming and processing practices, and where they will be rewarded with premium returns. Growing Forward 2 is investing $3 billion over five years in cost-shared strategic initiatives for sector innovation, competitiveness and market development. These strategic investments will help grow the industry and help drive the country's economic expansion.
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