Business & Policy
INTRODUCTION: The season ahead
By Peter Darbishire
Season Ready Issue (west): Introduction from the editor.
Sometime back in early February, Canadian consumers passed Food Freedom Day,
the day that recognizes the average Canadian has made enough wages to pay for
a year's food. That amounts to just about 9.25 percent of their disposable income.
The day came and went and nobody noticed and, as usual, nobody went hungry either!
What was unusual this year, though, was that the desperately small proportion
of food spending that is received by farmers was actually acknowledged in a
'Report on Business' story in The Globe and Mail. The story also noted
that grocery retailers are in difficulty with slim margins and stiff new competition
from Wal-Mart, it called farmers 'remarkably efficient' and credited advances
in technology, and 'enormous productivity gains'.
This article appeared just as the Manitoba Pulse Growers ended their annual
bean symposium at Morris. A grower told me it was one of the biggest turnouts
he has seen, though he felt many of his colleagues went to share their despondency!
Hopefully, they also absorbed some optimism and encouragement for the season
ahead from presenters at the seminars.
This Season Ready issue of Top Crop Manager concludes our winter
to spring series of magazines. It includes, as usual, stories on most crop management
topics to help launch the upcoming seeding activities. -30-
Peter Darbishire, Editor