Business & Policy
Be aware of changes to grain declaration process
By Top Crop Manager
Recent changes to grain declarations make delivering what you declare more important. Declarations now include a legally binding agreement, as required by the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). Farmers are encouraged to carefully read the new declarations for the 2020-2021 crop year.
“This change adds an additional level of liability that farmers need to be aware of,” says Todd Hames, Alberta Wheat Commission chair. “Grain declarations have always been contractual agreements between the farmer and the grain company, but now we have a regulatory requirement that could result in legal ramifications.”
In many cases, the legally binding declaration is included as Part B of the annual contractual declaration required by grain companies, which ensure farmers’ grain is eligible for delivery. While most grain deliveries have required similar declarations in the past, as of Aug. 1, 2020, all regulated grains delivered to CGC-licensed elevators or processors require a declaration.
These changes require farmers to declare that the grain they are delivering is an eligible variety for the kind of grain and class. They are the result of recent amendments to the Canada Grain Act.
Farmers should be aware that this addition has implications beyond the current contractual agreements between farmers and grain companies. The change extends to all deliveries of grains regulated under the Canada Grain Act, and knowingly making a false declaration is considered an offence under the Act.
“We would always encourage farmers to be aware of what they’re signing in any grain contract, but with a new, legally binding agreement now included, farmers should take extra care in reviewing before signing,” says Dave Bishop, Alberta Barley chair.
Changes follow concessions made under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) that allow U.S. farmers to sell eligible classes and varieties of wheat into Canada. Rather than introducing a regulatory contract specific to the sale of wheat, the CGC has extended the regulations to cover all grain sales.
This means that canola sold to canola crushers and pulse crops are included as regulated grains, so canola and pulse farmers will also be required to sign declarations.
Questions, comments or concerns about the new regulations and declarations should contact the CGC:
- During August, inquiries should be directed to Derek Bunkowski, chief grain inspector for Canada, industry services, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 204-297-8541 or 1-866-317-4289 for TTY.
- From September on, contact Gino Castonguay, chief grain inspector for Canada, at email@example.com or 204-983-2780.