June 4th, 2015
New technologies and resources to the agricultural sector are constantly pouring in all across Canada. As one of our biggest economic resources, we shouldn’t be surprised at how much time and money is invested into this sector by provincial and federal governments.
With such a large industry it’s hard to keep track of everything that is going on. In this article, we will bring you up to speed with some recent events from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and what it means for us.
Investment in the Organic Sector
The Conservative government has announced that it will be adding additional funding towards the organic sector as a part of the Growing Forward 2 policy. $785 660 in funds have been given to the Canada Organic trade Association (COTA) in order to help increase the visibility of the Canadian organic brand.
Canada is currently the World’s 5th largest organic market, with over 4500 operational organic farms. Recent trends in health have greatly increased the demand for organic foods all across the globe. Canada’s main organic exports include the USA, Japan, and Europe. This marketing initiative is expected to increase the business that Canada receives from other countries and to solidify the high-quality Canadian agriculture brand.
Stance Against Country of Origin Labelling (COOL)
Country of Origin Labelling has been a controversial topic between Canada and the US recently due to policy disagreements. Originally implemented in 2002, the US’s COOL policy states that sellers must indicate to the buyers the location from which the product originated.
While beneficial to the US, COOL damages international trade for exporters by tarnishing the consumer view of incoming products. With the recent outlook that ‘local is better,’ consumers and resellers have been more reluctant to purchase imported products. The Canadian Livestock Industry estimates that Canada sustains $1 billion in damages due to COOL every year.
A recent statement from Trade and Development leaders of Canada and Mexico called COOL “blatantly protectionist and discriminatory.” Canada has been working with Mexico to oppose COOL, and they both seek further help from the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) to oppose the policy.
Infrared Grain-Sorting Technology
Recent advancements in technology have been developed for the grain industry in Manitoba. $1.1 million in funding has been given to Manitoba’s Standard Nutrition Canada Co. to develop an infrared grain-sorting device. The purpose of this product is to easily separate the unwanted grain kernels from the preferred ones for the sake of the sellers and the customers. This will help to increase the overall quality of the product sold and further satisfy Canada’s agricultural customers.
Fusarium damage is something that occurs to barley and corn, which can render the grain discoloured and even poisonous. This infrared technology will help to differentiate the good product from the bad in a timely manner. It is estimated that there will be a total reduction of 24,000 tonnes of grain waste in Manitoba alone with the development of this new scanner.