Business/Policy
Ron Davidson has officially been selected as the new Executive Director of Soy Canada. The Association’s Board of Directors announced this week that Davidson will start in the new role in Soy Canada’s Ottawa office beginning November 1st, taking over from interim Executive Director Dale Adolphe.

“We are thrilled to have Ron as the new head of the Association,” said Mark Huston, Chair of Soy Canada. “Ron has a tremendous understanding of domestic and international regulatory environments and their impact on agriculture policy in Canada. The breadth of experience he brings with him will help advance the strategic direction of Soy Canada and the soybean sector, while delivering on the issues and priorities central to our mandate.”

Davidson has held multiple senior positions in professional organizations in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, he has served as the Senior Vice-President, International Trade and Public Affairs with the Canadian Meat Council. Davidson was previously the Chief Liaison Officer, Governmental Affairs with the Canadian Wheat Board and has extensive international and diplomatic experience working for the Government of Canada in various diplomatic postings including Canada’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Yemen; Consul General of Canada in Brazil; and other senior diplomatic positions in Japan, France and the U.S. Davidson also held senior roles in both the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture.

“I am very honoured by the opportunity to join Soy Canada at this exciting moment in the evolution of this country’s soybean industry,” said Davidson. “Soy Canada has proposed ambitious, but achievable goals for the next decade and I look forward to participation in the development of an inclusive value chain roadmap for the conversion of today’s visionary aspirations into realized achievements of the future.”

Over the coming weeks Davidson will be working with the Soy Canada Board of Directors and Association staff on a transition process. With a full-time leader now in place, Soy Canada looks forward to continuing its work to facilitate industry cooperation and represent the industry on domestic and international issues affecting the growth and development of the sector.
Published in Corporate News
The Scoular Company recently announced that Bryan Wurscher has joined Scoular's senior leadership team as vice president, division manager and general manager of the company's special crops business. He is reporting to CEO Paul Maass and working from Scoular's office in Minneapolis, Minn.

Wurscher will oversee all aspects of the company's operation that sources and processes special crops in Canada and U.S. for use around the world. Scoular's special crops offering includes various pulses (lentils, whole and split peas, edible beans, and chickpeas) as well as canary seed, flaxseed, and sunflower seed.

"Bryan is a strong leader, and I'm thrilled to have him bring 20-plus years of diverse experience and talent to this critical role," said Maass.

Wurscher came to Scoular from Cargill where he most recently served as President and Managing Director Cocoa & Chocolate, Cargill North America. Wurscher joined Cargill in 1995 and held a variety of general management, commercial, merchandising and business development roles with Cargill's Trade and Structured Finance, Sugar, Corn Milling and Cocoa & Chocolate businesses. His roles included assignments in the United States, Singapore and Mexico.
Published in Corporate News
Following is a statement from Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) President Ron Bonnett in reaction to the announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and Small Business and Tourism Minister Bardish Chaggar of small business tax changes.

"The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) welcomes today's announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and Small Business and Tourism Minister Bardish Chaggar that the 10.5 per cent small business tax rate will drop to 10 per cent in 2018 and 9 per cent in 2019.

A reduced overall small business tax rate will help to drive growth in the agriculture sector and boost the competitiveness of Canadian farmers. As well, changes announced to 'Tax Planning Using Private Corporations' proposals are a positive sign that the government understands the concerns voiced by farm groups in recent months.

Simplifying the income sprinkling rules is a step in the right direction and farmers look forward to more clarity around tax changes. CFA is also pleased that the government will not proceed with limiting access to the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption.

Minister Morneau has said that he'll ensure family farm transfers aren't affected by the tax changes and farm groups await details on how the proposals will be revised in this regard.

While today's news resolves some uncertainty, farmers remain apprehensive about other proposed tax measures, particularly on passive investments, which are vital for managing year-over-year risks due to weather or market-related volatility. CFA has also noted concern with plans that would affect the conversion of income into capital gains.

CFA executives are in regular contact with Finance Canada officials and other government representatives, and we understand these outstanding issues will be addressed in the near future."
Published in Business & Policy
BASF has signed an agreement to acquire significant parts of Bayer’s seed and non-selective herbicide businesses. Bayer intends to divest these assets in the context of its planned acquisition of Monsanto.

The all-cash purchase price is €5.9 billion, subject to certain adjustments at closing. The assets to be acquired include Bayer’s global glufosinate-ammonium non-selective herbicide business, commercialized under the Liberty®, Basta® and Finale® brands, as well as its seed businesses for key row crops in select markets: canola hybrids in North America under the InVigor® brand using the LibertyLink® trait technology, oilseed rape mainly in European markets, cotton in the Americas and Europe as well as soybean in the Americas. The transaction also includes Bayer’s trait research and breeding capabilities for these crops and the LibertyLink® trait and trademark.

For the full year 2016, sales of the business to be purchased from Bayer amounted to around €1.3 billion and EBITDA to around €385 million. The transaction is subject to the closing of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto and approval by relevant authorities. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

“With this investment, we are seizing the opportunity to acquire highly attractive assets in key row crops and markets. It will be a strategic complement to BASF’s well-established and successful crop protection business as well as to our own activities in biotechnology,” said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. “The acquisition will further enhance our agricultural solutions offer, which is a core pillar of BASF’s portfolio.”

The acquisition complements BASF’s crop protection business, strengthening the company’s herbicide portfolio and marking its entry into the seed business with proprietary assets in key agricultural markets.

“Building on the competent new team members and the enhanced portfolio, we will offer farmers a greater choice of solutions addressing their needs for high-quality seeds, chemical and biological crop protection,” explained Saori Dubourg, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE and responsible for the Agricultural Solutions segment. “Moreover, this transaction will create new opportunities for future growth and strengthen our global innovation potential.”

More than 1,800 commercial, R&D, breeding and production personnel shall transfer from Bayer to BASF. These employees are primarily located in the United States, Germany, Brazil, Canada and Belgium. Furthermore, BASF will acquire the manufacturing sites for glufosinate-ammonium production and formulation in Germany, the United States, and Canada, seed breeding facilities in the Americas and Europe as well as trait research facilities in the United States and Europe.

“We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to BASF. As highly experienced, dedicated and motivated professionals they will enrich our team with their expert knowledge in crop protection, seeds and traits. Together, we will shape the long-term success of BASF, serving the needs of farmers around the globe,” said Markus Heldt, President of BASF’s Crop Protection division.

For further information, please visit: basf.com/grow-with-us
Published in Corporate News
Delivering grain soon? Reduce your risk of not getting paid by following these recommendations.

Before you make a grain delivery, make sure you're delivering grain to a company licensed by the Canadian Grain Commission. As part of its mandate to work in the interests of grain producers, the Canadian Grain Commission requires licensed grain companies to provide security to cover money owed to producers for grain deliveries. Unregulated grains and deliveries of any grain to unlicensed grain companies aren't eligible for compensation in the event that payment terms are not met.

When you make your delivery, get a primary elevator receipt, grain receipt or cash purchase ticket that identifies the grain, grade, weight, price and date of delivery. Scale tickets are not accepted for compensation claims.

Make sure you ask to be paid for your grain right away. The sooner you ask to be paid, the lower your risk of payment loss. When delivering multiple loads of grain to one company, it's a good idea to ask for payment after each load or every few loads. Wait until the cheque clears before you deliver another load.

If a licensed company refuses to pay you for your grain, stalls on payment, or a financial institution denies payment on your cash purchase ticket or cheque, don't make any further grain deliveries and contact the Canadian Grain Commission.

"Grain producers should contact the Canadian Grain Commission immediately if they experience any trouble or delays getting paid. Waiting too long could put your eligibility for compensation at risk," said Patti Miller, Chief Commissioner, Canadian Grain Commission in a press release. 

For more information, visit: http://www.grainscanada.gc.ca/producer-producteur/licence/risk-risque-en.htm

Published in Business Management
Ceres Global Ag Corp. announced that Chief Financial Officer Mark Kucala has stepped down from his position but will stay on with the company as treasury, risk and process improvement manager. Replacing Mr. Kucala as CFO is Kyle Egbert who previously served as Ceres' vice president finance.

"For nearly a decade, Mark has been a stalwart supporter of our business," said Robert Day, Ceres' President and Chief Executive Officer. "Throughout his tenure, he has helped Ceres navigate through many changes and significant growth, including the development of our Northgate infrastructure, reaching more than 110 million bushels handled and doubling of revenues. Going forward, Mark will continue to provide leadership and support in the areas he is most passionate about; treasury and banking relationships, risk processes and procedures, and operations systems and reporting."

Mr. Day continued, "Replacing Mark as CFO is Kyle Egbert who recently joined the company as vice president finance. Kyle has deep knowledge of our industry through previous positions held with Royal Dutch Shell in commodity trading, along with a depth of experience in financial reporting, valuation and controls and compliance. Kyle will assume responsibility for helping guide Ceres into the future and we wholeheartedly welcome him to the senior management team."

The appointment of Mr. Egbert to the role of chief financial officer for Ceres was effective October 1, 2017.
Published in Corporate News
Farmers of North America Strategic Agriculture Institute (FNA-STAG) called on the federal government to act with rural agriculture in mind by extending the consultations on any proposed tax changes, decisions that that will have serious consequences for farm families for generations.

"Farm operations already contribute a fair share of needed federal tax revenue. It is critical that any proposed ideas or changes to tax law be fully exposed to genuine consultation, including impact assessments, with those most affected" said James Mann, President of FNA-STAG.

To protect the future of our farms, FNA-STAG is asking for a complete stop to the process until the matter can go through full Parliamentary process.

While hearings should be held by the House of Commons Finance Committee, because these changes significantly impact farm families, the Standing Committee on Agriculture should also hold hearings with relevant testimony which would provide for a more in-depth accounting of the true impact.

Even before that however, the proposed changes should be brought back to the farm community to provide opportunity for meaningful discourse. Decisions without patience and attention to detail may result in irreversible consequences.

False assumptions have taken over much of the discussion. The proposed changes present a complex set of scenarios that may be completely different for different farmers, and they need time to consult with their financial advisors.

There is an assumption that only the rich will be impacted. Nothing could be further from the truth. This will knee-cap farmers that find making ends meet a daily challenge and penalize those who have taken the government's advice – using experts to plan for the future.

Meaningful consultation, adequate research and a more deliberate targeted approach would serve all sectors much better.

FNA-STAG is a not-for-profit institute that collaborates with other organizations to improve agriculture policy and regulation where it impacts directly on farm profitability. Farmers of North America (FNA) is a national farmers' business alliance, a private sector solution provider that negotiates lower input prices and develops programs for farmer members to maximize their profitability.
Published in Business & Policy
Farmers Edge™, a global leader in decision agriculture, announced today a strategic partnership to bring Planet’s best-in-class global monitoring data and platform capabilities to the Farmers Edge precision agriculture product suite.

Planet is an integrated aerospace and data platform company that operates the world’s largest fleet of earth imaging satellites, collecting the largest quantity of earth imagery. Farmers Edge is now a sole distributor for Planet in key agricultural regions, with the right to use and distribute high-resolution, high-frequency imagery from Planet’s three flagship satellite constellations.

Through this multimillion-dollar, multi-year global distribution agreement, Farmers Edge and Planet are significantly expanding their existing partnership. The companies will deliver the vanguard of remote sensing driven and analytics-based agronomy services to growers worldwide.

Farmers Edge customers will be among the first to take advantage of field-centric, consistent, and accurate insights from satellite imagery. While traditional imagery products provide only a partial, delayed, or inconsistent view of fields, this partnership equips Farmers Edge growers with comprehensive, high-quality field imagery more frequently updated than any other company in the industry.

“Until now, the challenge with satellite imagery was the data was simply not frequent enough to react to crop stress in a timely manner,” said Wade Barnes, President and CEO of Farmers Edge. “At Farmers Edge, providing our customers with the most concise, comprehensive, and consistent data is at the core of what we do. We understand the need for more image frequency, that’s why we are partnering with Planet. Daily imagery is a game-changer in the digital ag space.”

The combination of Planet’s unprecedented data set and Farmers Edge state-of-the-art image processing technology allows for early crop monitoring and gives growers the best opportunity to correct factors that could limit crop performance and compromise yield potential.

Growers will now have a wealth of field-centric data updated throughout the growing season, including early monitoring of crop stand, detection of pest and weed pressure, drainage issues, hail damage, herbicide injuries, nutrient deficiencies, yield prediction and more.

“Farmers Edge is consistently at the cutting edge of innovation in agricultural technology, and we’re proud to expand our partnership with them as we work to improve profitability, sustainability, and efficiency for the world’s producers,” said Will Marshall, CEO of Planet. “The challenges faced by the agriculture industry are complex in nature and global in scale, and we believe our data is uniquely positioned to solve agricultural challenges.”

“Retailers, co-ops, equipment dealers, agronomists, and all other important advisors to the farmer can now partner with Farmers Edge and leverage this industry changing capability within their business,” said Ron Osborne, Chief Strategy Officer of Farmers Edge. “We're pleased to be able to help so many in our industry manage risks, in near real-time. This is great for our customers, our partners, and agriculture.”

In 2016, Planet awarded Farmers Edge its Agriculture Award, recognizing the company’s pioneering work with ag-based analytics, Variable Rate Technology and field-centric data management.
Published in Corporate News
In June of this year, Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers (MPSG) organized a seminar to deliver industry knowledge and expertise to groups interested in seeing a soybean crush facility built in Manitoba. This meeting brought together the Westman Group, agriculture consultant Mark Rowe and delegates from Manitoba Agriculture.

This recent burst of interest in local, value-added opportunities for soybean farmers from the private and public sectors is encouraging. It has pulled MPSG into a largely public conversation, drawing on the experience and expertise the association has developed from having worked on the soybean crush file since 2014, when it co-funded a feasibility study looking into the potential for such a plant in Manitoba.

In the interest of transparency surrounding the topic of such a facility, MPSG would like to inform its members that its involvement in these talks is solely focused on serving the best interests of the entire province’s soybean farmers.

“We represent farmers in western Manitoba, farmers in the east, farmers in the north and farmers in the south,” says MPSG Chair Jason Voth. “Soybean acres are increasing and prices are strong. The possibility of a crush plant is an encouraging topic and we’re working hard on the research and market development side to shed light on the correct path. MPSG is sitting at the soybean crush table to make sure the plant gets built in Manitoba. We are not here to choose a specific location or take sides. We are involved because we have a deep understanding of the subject matter and are happy to share it.”

MPSG’s mission is to provide research, production knowledge and market support to Manitoba pulse and soybean farmers. Discussions surrounding a soybean crush operation in Manitoba are important to MPSG. The association is taking them seriously, providing, as its mission states, market and industry-related expertise to the interested parties.

MPSG is neutral on the possible location for such a facility. The association acknowledges that for such a large, capital and capacity-heavy project to succeed, it must be built in the best place possible without any predetermination.

The hydro, wastewater and transportation demands of a successful soybean crush facility will be key factors for a company or group of investors to think about when considering the best possible site.

In the June meeting, Mr. Rowe provided the group with information on the costs of running such an operation, its energy demands and the high input and output volumes it would need to sustain in order to produce meal and oil on a profitable scale.

“Soybean acres have increased in Manitoba, and they are poised to keep increasing,” says MPSG’s Executive Director Francois Labelle. “Potential investors in such a facility have told us and others that they would need to see a high soybean acreage base sustained for three to five years before any decisions would be made. We’re not there yet, but we’re moving in the right direction.”

There are numerous policy issues, domestic and abroad, looming and actual, that are at play when determining the viability of a soy crush facility for Manitoba. MPSG is keeping an eye on these files and is working with others to make sure that Manitoba’s agricultural sector remains strong and competitive.

MPSG is optimistic about the possibility of a soybean crush plant coming up in Manitoba. And the association looks forward to its continued involvement in this process, conducting research, opening markets, delivering expertise and promoting ventures that will benefit all of Manitoba’s soybean and pulse farmers.
Published in Corporate News
As Canada, the United States and Mexico continue to work towards modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Government of Canada remains committed to hearing from Canadians from across the country about trade.

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Honourable Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada-U.S. Relations), held a roundtable with Canadian agricultural stakeholders, ranging from beef to dairy to grains.

Discussions focused on how the sector can maximize the benefits of a modernized NAFTA and look at ways to make North America an even stronger agricultural market.

"A strong NAFTA is important for our farmers and our economy. Millions of sector jobs across North America are supported by NAFTA, which has helped grow agricultural trade between our three nations to $85 billion annually. Our Government will continue to work together with Canadian farmers to ensure trade remains an engine of growth and prosperity for our nations," said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Published in Imports/Exports
The Government of Canada is committed to working with the agricultural industry in developing new risk management assessments and tools that help farmers manage risk.

Member of Parliament for Pontiac, William Amos, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, was in Old Chelsea September 20 to announce a $461,816 investment for the Canadian Organic Growers during National Organics Week.

This funding will be used to conduct a study of the risks involved in transitioning from conventional production to organic production.

This first-of-a-kind study will reach out to organic producers across the country, as well as others in the sector.

The data collected will be used to identify techniques that farmers can use to help reduce risk and manage their shift to organic production.

"More than ever, Canadians are looking to purchase organic products grown and made in Canada; however supply is not keeping pace at home or abroad. There is a growing environmental and economic case for transitioning to organic agriculture in Canada and by enhancing our knowledge on the subject, we can develop effective tools, programs, and policies that can better support a farmer's journey to sustainable, organic production," said Rochelle Eisen, President, Canadian Organic Growers.
Published in Corporate News
Pipeline Foods LLC, the first U.S.-based supply chain solutions company focused exclusively on non-GMO and organic food and feed, announced today the acquisition of two grain elevator facilities in Wapella and Gull Lake, Saskatchewan.

Wapella, a 3,500 metric ton (MT) facility, and Gull Lake, a 4,000 MT facility, will each serve as a primary collection point for Canadian organic grain origination in their regions (southeast and southwest, respectively).

Pipeline Foods will store, screen and blend grains including barley, corn, rye, flax, lentils, oats, peas, soybeans and wheat, and then ship via truck or rail.

"These investments help Pipeline Foods move quickly toward our vision of building a more sustainable organic supply chain in agriculture," said Eric Jackson, CEO of Pipeline Foods. "The Wapella and Gull Lake grain elevators place us right in the heart of Canadian organic grain production, provide a new channel for farmers to do business, and allow us to connect this grain supply with food companies and manufacturers across the U.S."

Both facilities are certified organic through Pro-Cert, which is accredited in both the United States and Canada. They are each forecasted to move an estimated 25,000 MT in 2018, with increasing capacity expected after initial capital investments are made this year.

Wapella and Gull Lake are located along the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway, providing inbound and outbound truck and rail convenience. Pipeline's purchase of the Wapella facility includes installation of the main line rail switch, reconnecting the facility to the Canadian Pacific Railway after being out of service for over 15 years.

"We are very excited to have Pipeline Foods take over the elevator in Wapella, and about the return of trains rolling through town to pick up grain cars," said Sandy Hintz, Mayor of Wapella. "Pipeline Foods has already been very supportive of community fundraisers and projects. The addition of staff at the elevator will create more support for our local businesses, and Pipeline Foods' big investment in elevator infrastructure will create additional tax revenue for our town."

"I recently had an opportunity to tour the Pipeline Foods Facility and was impressed with the current operations and planned upgrades," said Gull Lake Mayor Blake Campbell. "Our local businesses keep our community strong, and we are very pleased to welcome Pipeline Foods to Gull Lake."

Organic grain production has grown steadily in southern Saskatchewan, largely in response to consumer demand for organic grains, and supported by the diverse crop rotation in the region. Organic cropping benefits from weed and pest control without the use of synthetic inputs due to a more diverse, longer crop rotation.

"Our expansion through these two facilities will enable Pipeline Foods to cultivate closer relationships with producers, ensure a clean and transparent supply, and ultimately offer better value for our customers," Jackson said.

Pipeline Foods is pursuing opportunities to invest $300-500M over the next three to five years to build a better, more sustainable supply chain in agriculture. Pipeline Foods is actively buying all classes of organic wheat, pulses and oats.
Published in Corporate News
The amount of debt Canadian farmers collectively carried relative to the value of their assets increased in 2016 for the first time since 2009, putting operators at heightened risk of going out of business should the next two or three years treat them poorly.

Further, roughly 70 per cent of farm assets are tied up in land. The value of land is expected to continue to climb but not as fast as it has in the past, according to Farm Credit Canada (FCC), the country's largest agricultural lender. READ MORE
Published in Business Management
The Oscar-winning Cameron appeared Monday in Vanscoy, a village southwest of Saskatoon, to say the couple have formed Verdient Foods to handle 160,000 tonnes of organic pea protein.

He said that, once operational, the plant will become the largest organic pea protein facility in North America. READ MORE
Published in Corporate News
The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) and the Canada Institute of the Wilson Center are pleased to co-publish a short piece on approaches to food safety co-operation in Canada and the United States.

With NAFTA renegotiation talks in full swing, it is a critical time for a conversation on protecting and improving our shared food supply chain. As think tanks and think networks, CAPI and the Wilson Center know the importance of good debate and a robust marketplace for ideas. This short piece, written by Rory McAlpine and Mike Robach, encourages just such debate.

"The contents of the piece represent an opportunity for our two organizations to present to our respective stakeholders on the frontlines of Canada-US economic policy some new thinking on important food safety issues," said Don Buckingham, President & CEO of CAPI. "Food safety is not just about consumer protection, it's about enhancing the competitiveness of the Canada-US agri-food supply chain around the world. A well-functioning food safety regime helps to increase global demand for safe and wholesome North American food products."

Laura Dawson, Director of the Canada Institute of the Wilson Center added: "During a period of trade upheaval and fractured supply chains, it is particularly important to bring practical suggestions to the table that will build trade, increase competitiveness and safeguard the protection of consumers."

The short piece is available here: Risk and Reward: Food Safety and NAFTA 2.0
Published in World Outlook
The Government of Canada has committed 1.7 million to gather more data to help improve forage insurance in Alberta.

Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre, Kent Hehr, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, was in Calgary earlier this week to announce our Government is investing $4.4 million to help farmers stay on the cutting edge of innovation, expand markets and manage their business risk.

As part of this investment, our Government has committed $2.2 million to projects that will help support the Alberta agriculture industry and across Canada.

Projects include:
  • $839,485 for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association to explore the use of remote sensing as a tool to insure forage crops.
  • $901,240 to help the Alberta Beef Producers develop satellite data to help improve forage insurance.
  • $255,000 to help the Canadian Angus Association develop tools that will improve better breeding cattle.
  • $205,500 for the National Cattle Feeders Association to develop and implement a national feedlot animal care assessment program.
  • The remaining funds, just over $2.2 million, will support a number of innovative projects that will help market development, emergency planning, competitive pricing, animal care assessments and farm software development.
  • These investments are part of our Government's plan to grow the economy in a way that works for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
Published in Corporate News
In a presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) urged the quick passage of Bill C-49 – historic federal legislation that promises to provide long-term solutions to Canada’s grain transportation issues which have plagued the industry for decades.

AWC’s presentation also recommended amendments to the legislation that would improve the effectiveness of long haul interswitching as a tool to improve railway competition. As currently proposed, AWC believes the new interswitching provisions may be less effective than those enacted under the former Bill C-30.

Overall, AWC is pleased with measures in Bill C-49 – the Transportation Modernization Act, that will help correct the imbalance between the market power of railways and shippers and ensure that the cost of system failures are not passed down the supply chain to farmers.

“AWC appreciates the federal government’s commitment to legislation that will improve railway competition and accountability in Canada,” said Kevin Auch, AWC Chair. “AWC has been pressing for rail reform since our organization began in 2012 and we saw the invitation to speak today as another opportunity to ensure the farmer voice is truly represented as this legislation is developed.”

As a member of the Crop Logistics Working Group (CLWG), AWC also supports a series of suggested amendments that deal with more timely reporting of railway service data and requirements that the railways provide more detailed volume forecasts and operational plans to the Minister at the beginning of each crop year. The CLWG is a regular forum for grain industry stakeholders to identify supply chain challenges and commercial solutions aimed at enhancing the transparency and effectiveness of the grain handling transportation system.

“We see our membership with the CLWG as an excellent opportunity to pass producer feedback directly to Minister MacAulay as it relates to grain movement by rail,” said Auch. “In providing these amendments, we hope to see long-awaited legislation that fosters growth of the agriculture sector and supports Canada’s reputation as a reliable supplier of grain to our international customers.”

AWC encourages the federal government to continue the conversation with Canada’s agriculture sector as it works to develop the regulations to support the spirit and the intention of this legislation that seeks to create a more responsive, competitive and accountable rail system in Canada.
Published in Storage & Transport
SG Ceresco (Ceresco), a Canadian leader in soybean processing, is being sold to Quebec interests. The company is owned by co-founders Thierry Gripon and Mireille Raymond, and the closing of the transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions.

Purchasers Transit BD and Alain Létourneau Holdings will continue the company’s export sales activities in food grade soybeans, as well selling non-GMO soybean seeds to Canadian farmers. Thierry Gripon will remain as leader of the international soybean sales team and Mireille Raymond will be responsible for operational management until a new General Manager is in place.

"We are very pleased to have concluded this transaction with the founders of the company. Ceresco has a significant international development potential and we are very enthusiastic about further developing this Quebec jewel," says Transit BD shareholder Pierre Dagenais.

"Ceresco possesses an excellent customer base of soybean producers with whom we can build the future. We are particularly pleased to continue the work of the founders who have built this fine company over the last 30 years," adds Alain Létourneau.

Ceresco’s Thierry Gripon states: "We are convinced that the new group of shareholders will be successful in carrying out projects and the future destiny of the company. We have put in place a strong management team that will support the new owners. We are particularly proud to have built this beautiful company with our employees, soybean producers and international customers. We both pass on, Mireille and I, a wonderful project that we have successfully completed."
Published in Corporate News
A Food Policy for Canada will set a long-term vision for the country's health, environmental, social, and economic goals related to food, while also identifying actions that can be taken in the short-term to improve Canada's food system.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Kim Rudd, along with the Member of Parliament for Guelph, Lloyd Longfield, participated in a regional engagement session in Guelph, Ontario, as part of the ongoing consultations regarding the development of A Food Policy for Canada.

Stakeholders, Indigenous representatives, experts, and key policy makers were invited to join this session, part of a series being held across the country. The sessions began in August in Charlottetown and Saint-Hyacinthe, continuing in September in Vancouver, Yellowknife, and today's session in Guelph, and will conclude at the end of the month in Winnipeg.

Public consultations on A Food Policy for Canada were launched on May 29, 2017, with an online survey that asked Canadians for their input on food issues related to:
  • increasing access to affordable food;
  • improving health and food safety;
  • conserving our soil, water, and air; and
  • growing more high-quality food.
Response to the survey from across the country was strong, with more than 40,000 responses received before it closed on August 31, 2017.

"As Canadians, we know that having a reliable supply of affordable, nutritious, and safe food also depends on maintaining our country's natural resources. As a government, we must support growth and access while conserving the land. That is why I am so pleased to participate in today's A Food Policy for Canada engagement session – taking part in conversations like the one we are having today ensures that we build a Food Policy that reflects what is most important to Canadians when it comes to our food," said Kim Rudd, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources.
Published in Corporate News
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. announced that the Canadian Competition Bureau ("CCB") has granted unconditional regulatory approval for the proposed merger of equals by issuing a no-action letter dated September 11, 2017.

The CCB concluded that the proposed transaction is not likely to lead to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition with respect to potash fertilizer, phosphate fertilizers and nitric acid.

The CCB found that global prices of potash are correlated with prices in Canada and that customers can source potash from multiple suppliers. The issuance of the no-action letter satisfies the Canadian regulatory condition of closing of the proposed merger of equals transaction.

The companies previously received unconditional clearance for the merger in both Brazil and Russia. The regulatory review and approval process continues in the U.S., China and India and the parties expect to close the transaction by the end of the fourth quarter of 2017.

Upon closing the merger transaction, the new company will be named Nutrien. As the largest global provider of crop inputs and services, Nutrien will play a critical role in "Feeding the Future" by helping growers to increase food production in a sustainable manner.

Additional information on the merger between Agrium and PotashCorp can be found at the following website http://www.worldclasscropinputsupplier.com/

Information about Agrium and PotashCorp can be found under their respective corporate profiles on SEDAR at www.sedar.comor on EDGAR at www.sec.gov, respective websites at www.agrium.com and www.potashcorp.com
Published in Corporate News
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