Top Crop Manager

Features Agronomy Pulses
Ag industry invests in supply chain improvements

Jan. 21, 2014, Winnipeg, MB - Canola, wheat, pulse and soy growers, as well as representatives from the grain, oilseed, pulse and special crops trade are coming together for the first time to make a targeted investment into transportation policy. In partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the group will invest over $3.2 million dollars into work aimed at creating efficiencies in the agriculture supply chain over the next five years.

Shippers of all agriculture commodities have been frustrated by the lack of improvement since the Rail Freight Service Review.

"There's been a lot of talk about transportation and the poor performance of our supply chain this year in particular, but not a lot of action. The industry is coming together to roll up its sleeves and to get to work. The numbers speak for themselves and what we've seen isn't good enough," says Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association.

Farmers increasingly recognize the importance of working together to ensure the supply chain is delivering product from the farm to the customer.

"We've got a lot of room for improvement in how we move things from the prairies to the port. We need to improve the performance of the grain export economy and logistics are key. If we are going to continue to enhance production volumes, we need to ensure the supply chain has the capacity to deliver our product consistently and reliably, and this is the focus of this initiative," says Alberta Wheat Commission General Manager Doug Cornell.

The focus of the Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Agriculture Supply Chain initiative; a multi-year, multi-commodity effort, is on building industry capacity to obtain more predictable and reliable service, methodically identifying critical opportunities for improvement in the ag supply chain and measuring performance so that all stakeholders know where efforts are best placed and ultimately, whether or not efforts have resulted in measurable improvements. Industry partners include the Canadian Canola Growers Association, the Alberta Wheat Commission, Pulse Canada, the soy growers of the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association, members of the Western Grain Elevators Association, the Inland Terminal Association and the Canadian Special Crops Association.