The finalization of the regulations governing the producer check-off for western Canadian wheat and barley is welcome news to the Canadian International Grains Institute as it marks the beginning of a new relationship between CIGI and farmers in Western Canada.
The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act introduced by the Government of Canada takes effect August 1, and allows for the collection of a check-off for five years to enable CIGI, the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre and Western Grains Research Foundation to deliver vital market development, wheat and barley variety development and technical support to the industry. Cigi will receive $0.15 of the $0.48/tonne check-off for wheat.
“Throughout its 40 year history, CIGI has been promoting farmers’ grain and now they will fund our work directly through the check-off,” says Murdoch MacKay, Chair of CIGI’s Board of Directors. “We look forward to working with industry to promote the high quality of Canada’s wheat, durum and barley in markets around the world and provide customers with technical support services and programming.”
In the past week, CIGI’s two program advisory groups, one comprising seven farmers from Western Canada and the other a group of marketers formed by the Western Grain Elevators Association, approved a slate of over 15 CIGI programs to be delivered from August through December 2012. The programs target customers in key markets including Asia, South America and North Africa and will be held at CIGI or within the customer country. CIGI’s next program will take place August 20-24 with representatives from one of the largest flour millers in the Asia Pacific region.
“Farmers have told us they expect CIGI to use their check-off funds to secure new markets and maintain established markets,” says Earl Geddes, Cigi Executive Director. “In the coming weeks CIGI will be working with some of the largest wheat buyers in the world, providing them with technical, practical information about Canadian wheat and helping them make informed decisions on their selection of wheat to meet their requirements. In a new marketing environment it is important that CIGI continue to demonstrate the quality of Canadian wheat on behalf of the farmers who grow it.”
CIGI is an independent market development institute created in 1972. Its mission is to create profitable opportunities for Canadian field crops through the delivery of technical expertise, support and customized training to the domestic industry and customers around the world. CIGI is funded by farmers, the Government of Canada (AAFC) and industry partners.