Communications

Grain Growers of Canada welcomes interim leadership as executive director departs for new role

April 18, 2023 (Ottawa, ON) – The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) bids farewell to Erin Gowriluk, its executive director, as she moves on to become the president of the Canada Grain Council. Tyler Bjornson & Associates will provide interim leadership effective April 17 while the organization searches for a new executive director.

During her five-year tenure, Gowriluk has been a leading voice on critical issues facing Canadian grain farmers.

“It has been an absolute privilege to work alongside such passionate and dedicated individuals who have an unwavering commitment to advancing the interests of Canadian grain farmers,” she said.

“I want to express my sincere thanks to the GGC board of directors, staff and members for their steadfast support throughout my tenure. I look forward to following their progress and seeing the organization reach new heights.”

GGC chair Andre Harpe thanked Gowriluk for her dedicated service to the organization.

“Erin has been a tireless advocate for Canadian grain farmers, and her leadership has been instrumental in advancing the interests of our members,” he said. “We wish her all the best in her new role.”

Harpe also expressed his confidence in Bjornson’s ability to ensure a seamless transition.

“Tyler and his team have a proven track record of providing strong leadership during transition periods, and we are confident in their ability to continue advancing the interests of our members,” he said.

GGC has established a hiring committee to lead the process of finding a new Executive Director, which includes the GGC executive and two additional directors. A job posting and call for interested applications will be published on the GGC website and other social media in the coming days.

GGC is committed to supporting Canadian grain farmers and looks forward to continuing its work on their behalf.

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For more information, contact:

Hayley Stacey
Communications Lead
P: 204-804-3333
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca

Grain Growers of Canada kick off National Grain Week with call for support of Bill C-234

March 28, 2022 (Ottawa, ON) – To mark the start of National Grain Week, the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) urges all political parties to support Bill C-234, an amendment to the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. This amendment seeks to extend the exemption for qualifying farming fuel to marketable natural gas and propane, which would fuel innovation and benefit Canadian farmers.

“As we gather in Ottawa for National Grain Week, we’re reminded of the crucial role that Canadian farmers play in feeding our country and the world,” said Andre Harpe, GGC chair. 

“By extending the exemption for qualifying farming fuels to natural gas and propane, this amendment will unlock innovation and drive sustainable growth in the sector. We urge all political parties to support this important legislation and demonstrate their commitment to the needs of Canadian farmers.”

Farmers incur a carbon price when using natural gas and propane for necessary farming practices such as grain drying, land irrigation, and heating or cooling their barns. As there are no viable alternatives, pricing these activities does not provide a signal to lower emissions from these sources. Bill C-234 will allow farmers to invest in practices that drive innovation and new efficiencies that reduce fuel usage by putting money back in their hands.

“C-234 is a cornerstone of our work this week,” Harpe said. “Unlocking innovation is key to achieving sustainability in agriculture. Carbon surcharges on necessary farm activities only add to the financial strain and divert capital away from critical investments.”

During National Grain Week, GGC members from across the country gather in Ottawa to share their diverse experiences and perspectives with parliamentarians. GGC is bringing together farmer members, parliamentarians and legislators to discuss and promote policies that align with the federal government’s goals and the sector’s unique needs and opportunities.

For more information on Bill C-234, visit agcarbonalliance.ca/vote-for-bill-c-234/.

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For more information, contact:

Hayley Stacey
Communications Lead
P: 204-804-3333
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca

CropLife Canada to Join the Grain Growers of Canada’s ‘Road to 2050’

March 6th, 2023 (Ottawa, ON) – The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) are pleased to welcome CropLife Canada as an industry partner on their ‘Road to 2050’ climate-solution initiative.

“Canadian farmers are global leaders in sustainability,” says Pierre Petelle, president and CEO of CropLife Canada. “From seed technology to the pest control tools that protect crops, the plant science industry is committed to providing solutions that support Canadian farmers as they work to address the global challenges of food security, climate change and sustainability.”

CropLife Canada represents the manufacturers, developers and distributors of pest control and modern plant breeding products. By prioritizing science and innovation, CropLife Canada’s members provide farmers with tools to sustainably increase production.

“Advancements in plant science are the backbone of innovation and growth,” says GGC Chair Andre Harpe. “Farmers have always known that productivity and sustainability must go hand in hand. The plant science industry is a leader in sustainable intensification, and CropLife Canada’s insights will be invaluable as we develop our ‘Road to 2050’ recommendations.” 

CropLife Canada advocates for a science-based regulatory environment that enables innovation in Canada. Canadian farmers have long been early adopters of new technologies, including plant science innovations, which has made them global leaders in sustainable production.  

“Enabling innovation will help us advance food production, food security, Canada’s economic growth and environmental stewardship,” says Petelle. “Canada’s agriculture sector is a solutions provider and is ready to help the Government of Canada deliver on its ambitious economic and environmental commitments.”

The ‘Road to 2050’ will focus on innovation, research and beneficial management practices, representing a practical and proactive approach to tackling climate change. Recommendations will guide government policies and programming directed at Canada’s grains sector.

“We are leveraging the experience and expertise of our industry partners and advisory council to develop climate solutions that unleash the grain sector’s full potential,” says Harpe. “CropLife Canada brings a wealth of knowledge to the table and will be a valuable voice on the ‘Road to 2050.’”

Previously announced industry partners include Corteva Agriscience, Fertilizer Canada and Cereals Canada. GGC continues to announce industry partnerships and looks forward to releasing its ‘Road to 2050’ roadmap in spring 2023.

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For more information, contact:

Hayley Stacey
Communications Lead
P: 204-804-3333
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca

Now is the time to come together on Bill C-234, echo Canada’s Grain Growers

November 15th, 2022 (Ottawa, ON) – On news that Bill C-234, an Act to Amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, passed the Agriculture and Agri-Food committee yesterday, the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) would like to commend the cross-party work of the Committee and urge all Members of Parliament to pass this legislation as it returns to the house for third and final reading. 

“With the threat of global food insecurity looming, we must champion food security, affordability and accessibility,” says GGC Chair Andre Harpe from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country. “Canadian farmers need practical on-farm policy that aligns sustainability and competitiveness. It’s encouraging to see support come from across-party lines, but now is the time for all parties to come together and support Bill C-234.” 

Farmers pay a carbon price for utilizing natural gas and propane for necessary farming practices, like grain drying, irrigating their land, and heating or cooling their barns. With no viable fuel alternatives, pricing these activities does not provide a signal to lower emissions from these sources. Bill C-234 will put money back into the hands of farmers so that they can continue to invest in practices that drive innovation, further efficiencies and reduce fuel usage.  

Sponsored by MP Ben Lobb (Huron-Bruce), the proposed legislation builds on Bill C-206, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act and S-215, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. Bill C-234 will amend the federal government’s carbon pricing legislation to provide an exemption from the carbon tax for natural gas and propane used on-farm for grain drying, irrigation, heating, and cooling barns. GGC applauds Ben Lobb for bringing this legislation forward and thanks the Agriculture and Agri-Food committee for their work reviewing the Bill.

“If we want to improve agriculture’s overall sustainability, we need to allow farmers to reach their full potential,” adds Harpe. “We understand the need to hasten the adoption of technologies and practices that could reduce emissions. Investments in innovation can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars; With rising input costs, inflation and supply chain shortages, carbon surcharges on necessary farm activities adds an additional burden and pulls capital away from critical investments.”

GGC continues to engage with government partners, farm organizations and industry across Canada to develop and promote policy that aligns the federal government’s goals with the unique needs and opportunities of the sector. As such, GGC looks forward to advocating for Bill C-234 throughout the legislative process.

For more information, contact:

Hayley Stacey
Communications Coordinator
P: 204-804-3333
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca

The Grain Growers of Canada welcome Sask Wheat as newest member

Ottawa, ON (November 1, 2022) – On behalf of its members and board of directors, the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) are pleased to welcome their newest member, the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat). 

Established in 2013, Sask Wheat provides leadership in identifying and supporting research, market development, and advocacy to maximize profitable and sustainable wheat production for Saskatchewan farmers.

“Joining GGC reinforces our commitment to working with key industry stakeholders to develop supporting existing markets, ensuring efficiencies and a focused approach to national priorities,” said Sask Wheat chair, Brett Halstead. “By working together, we can help deliver the conditions that Canada’s hard-working grain farmers need to continue that growth.”

Earlier this year, GGC announced their partnership with Sask Wheat on their ‘Road to 2050’ climate solutions initiative. GGC and Sask Wheat are jointly focused on improving on-farm sustainability and the competitiveness of Canadian agriculture on both the domestic and international front. 

Canada’s grain growers are proud to add Sask Wheat’s perspective to their membership and look forward to advocating on behalf of their 25,000 farmer members.

“Sask Wheat is a provincial leader in research and market development who has strengthened their province’s competitive advantage through prioritizing their member’s interests,” says GGC Chair Andre Harpe. “Adding their voice to the table means that we are an even stronger advocate for all farmers.” 

“We believe that this move demonstrates Canadian agriculture’s desire to come together and drive innovation, profitability and sustainability for our farmers – and our sector as a whole.”

 

For more information

Hayley Stacey
Communications Lead
P: 204-804-3333
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 15 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

Grain Growers Of Canada Release Three Recommendations To Improve Canada’s Fertilizer Emission Reduction Targets

August 31, 2022 (Ottawa, Ontario) – The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) have published their submission to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) discussion document on the proposed fertilizer emission reduction target.   

“Our sector knows nitrogen fertilizer is essential to the success of individual farm operations and, in turn, the Canadian economy,” says GGC Chair Andre Harpe from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country. “With the threat of global food insecurity, we must develop an approach that aligns the imminent need for increased food production with the long-term goal of increasing on-farm sustainability.”

In March 2022, AAFC released its discussion document titled ‘Reducing emissions arising from the application of fertilizer in Canada’s agriculture sector as the next step in the government’s plans to reduce fertilizer emissions.

GGC has been working diligently to assess the impact on farmers and the grain industry. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to meeting this target, and many individual farm-level variables will impact what solutions work for each farmer. To reflect the varied Canadian landscape and to ensure we continue to increase our yield increases, GGC recommends:

  • Targeting reductions in intensity relative to production, rather than an absolute reduction;
  • Address data gaps to ensure the baseline reflects usage patterns and accurately measures emissions; and
  • Incorporating existing best management practices, like 4R Nutrient Stewardship, into the National Inventory Report (NIR).

“We understand the need to hasten the adoption of technologies and practices that could reduce emissions,” adds Harpe. “Economic realities and on-farm agronomic necessities will dictate what is feasible. As part of Canadian grain farmers’ ongoing leadership, we continue to work towards developing practical on-farm policy that ensures sustainability and competitiveness.” 

GGC continues to engage with the federal government, farm organizations and industry across Canada to align the federal government’s goals with the unique needs and opportunities of the sector. 

Click here to read GGC’s Discussion Document submission.

 

For more information:

Hayley Stacey
Communications Lead
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca
P: 403-589-3529

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 14 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

Grain Growers of Canada Reacts to FPT Agreement for the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP)

July 25, 2022 (Ottawa, ON) – The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) appreciates the work done by Agriculture Ministers across Canada towards reaching an agreement for the next five-year Agricultural Policy Framework, set to begin in 2023.

“The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP) is a step in the right direction towards achieving a balanced approach to economic and environmental objectives in agriculture,” says GGC Chair Andre Harpe from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country. “We appreciate federal and provincial governments recognizing the need to increase funding to the upcoming 5-year framework and committing to an increase of 25% in cost-shared investments.”

The agreement unveiled $500 million in new cost-shared funds, bringing the total funding envelope to approximately $3.5 billion, of which $250 million will be earmarked for the new Resilient Agriculture Landscape Program (RALP) to reward environmental stewardship and emission reduction on farms. 

“Governments must engage early and often with farmers in designing the RALP to ensure a low administrative burden for participants that maximizes the value of that investment for farmers and ensures a meaningful reduction in emissions,” adds Harpe.

The agreed improvements to the Agri-Stability program are a positive step, including a 10% increase in the compensation rate, bringing it to 80%, along with a commitment to consult on ways to improve timeliness and predictability within the following year.

As a global leader in food production, Canada’s emission targets must not impede food security and production. Public and private sector collaboration will be a key component of ensuring strength in our sector. GGC’s climate solution initiative, the Road to 2050, will develop a farmer-driven path that aligns Canada’s climate goals with the unique needs of our sector. Our Road to 2050 recommendations intends to inform government policies and programs around sustainability. We were encouraged to hear the Ministers discuss both the economic realities and environmental opportunities the industry faces and look forward to sharing our recommendations with government in 2023. 

“We have concerns regarding the proposed cross compliance requirement that mandates an agri-environmental risk assessment to access Agri-Invest matching funds, and require additional details to understand potential impacts,” stated Harpe. “It is vital that farmers be engaged directly by government as they explore the integration of environmental practices into programs meant to help farmers manage financial risk and production losses outside their control.”

GGC commends Minister Bibeau and all provincial and territorial Agriculture Ministers for their continued efforts. We look forward to learning more details about elements within the agreement in the coming weeks and months. As the agreement begins to take shape, GGC is hopeful that the spirit of collaboration will extend to producers and industry partners so that we can best achieve our collective objectives.

For more information:

Hayley Stacey
Communications Lead
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca
P: 403-589-3529

Grain Growers of Canada to lead ‘Road to 2050’ net-zero emissions initiative

March 28, 2022 (Ottawa, ON) –The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) have announced the creation of a climate solutions initiative to help meet Canada’s ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

“As part of Canadian grain farmers’ ongoing leadership as environmental stewards, we continue to look forward to ensure our competitiveness,” said GGC chair Andre Harpe. “The farmer-driven path to net zero must reflect what farmers have done and can sustainably do in the future, which is why GGC has decided to lead this important initiative.” 

“The ‘Road to 2050’ will propose a path forward that focuses on innovation, research and beneficial management practices. This will boost productivity while continuing to enhance soil quality, improving the carbon sequestration potential of crop land and reducing emissions. This decision represents a practical and proactive approach to tackling climate change,” added Harpe.

In addition to identifying opportunities for the sector to continue its contributions to GHG emission reductions, the Road to 2050 is intended to guide government policies and programming directed at Canada’s grains sector, ensuring farmers are supported in their efforts. All recommendations will reflect farmers’ priorities, providing direction for legislators and policy makers who are making investments in research and incentivizing adoption of beneficial management practices.

GGC is committed to being a leader in this area and finding solutions that align Canada’s climate goals with the unique needs and opportunities of the sector. Canadian farmers are poised to capitalize on this opportunity, as they have a demonstrated history of innovation.  

Farmers have been proactive in steadily decreasing their carbon footprint through the adoption of numerous practices that improve soil carbon sequestration, without the need for regulation. Since 1981, there has been a 10 per cent reduction in net agricultural GHG emissions in Canada – primarily driven by beneficial management practices in the regions where crop production is most intensive. This reduction in emissions has been accompanied by a period of historic growth in crop yields and agri-food exports, meaning farmers have been producing more food with fewer emissions.

“We recognize that governments around the world are taking important steps to fight climate change and the reality is that Canadian farms can continue to play a major part in Canada’s efforts,” Harpe added.

Public and private sector collaboration will be a key component of ensuring resiliency in food production systems while moving to reduce emissions. Immediate next steps will involve seeking potential partners as GGC develops solutions for farmers and government, supported and guided by the establishment of a scientific advisory committee.

“Through innovation, we must continue to find ways to produce even more food to support a growing world population while maintaining our track record of constant improvement when it comes to sustainability,” Harpe explained. 

“Canada’s grain sector is up for the challenge.”

The Grain Growers of Canada are proud to partner with the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission in the development of this initiative.

Grain Growers of Canada to lead ‘Road to 2050’ net-zero emissions initiative

For more information:

Cole Christensen
Communications Consultant
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca
P: 403-589-3529

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 14 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

Bill C-234 represents the relief our sector needs, say Canada’s grain farmers

Feb 7, 2022 (Ottawa, Ontario) – On behalf of Canada’s grain farmers, the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) would like to commend MP Ben Lobb for bringing forward Bill C-234 and ask that all members of Parliament move this important and much-needed piece of legislation forward in a timely manner.

“This is exactly the type of relief that our sector needs,” said GGC chair Andre Harpe from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country. “By providing an exemption for on-farm fuel usage where no alternatives are available, we can maintain the competitiveness of our farmers while also freeing up the necessary resources to reinvest in our operations to ensure their long-term sustainability.”

Tabled today in the House of Commons, Bill C-234 will amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act to expand the definition of eligible farming machinery and extend the exemption for qualifying farming fuel to marketable natural gas and propane.

A successful passage of this bill would result in grain farmers no longer being penalized for on-farm activities – such as grain drying – that are required to properly store and market our products and ensure a sustainable food supply for everyone.

“Our membership is committed to being part of the solution and helping lead the conversation when it comes to the environment and climate change,” added Harpe. “By moving forward with these practical amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, our farmer members will have the ability to redirect these crucial dollars towards practical initiatives to further lower emissions and sequester carbon.”

GGC will be working with Parliamentarians across all parties to ensure that this Bill moves forward through the legislative process in a timeline that reflects its urgency for Canadian farmers.

 

For more information:

Cole Christensen
Communications Consultant
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca
P: 403-589-3529

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 14 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

Canada’s grain growers’ welcome membership in joint Sustainable Productivity Growth Coalition

January 13, 2022 (Ottawa, ON) – On news that the Government of Canada has joined the Sustainable Productivity Growth (SPG) Coalition, Canada’s grain growers would like to commend Minister Bibeau for this positive step and offer our support in adhering to the Coalition’s vision for agriculture. 

“We are proud to join likeminded nations around this important table to ensure our shared interest in securing a sustainable future for our sector and our world is achieved,” said Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) chair Andre Harpe from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country. 

Launched by the United States at the United Nations Food Systems Summit in September 2021, the newly-founded Coalition, “aims to accelerate the transition to more sustainable food systems through agricultural productivity growth that optimizes agricultural sustainability across social, economic, and environmental dimensions.” 

According to their website and stated vision, the Coalition will work towards the “acceleration of sustainable productivity growth” in a holistic approach that encompasses critical factors such as food security, food safety, food affordability, diet quality, farmer income, farm worker income and wellbeing, food loss and waste, resource conservation, biodiversity, and climate change mitigation.

GGC has repeatedly stated that science and innovation must be utilized in order to maximize agriculture’s economic potential, continue our ever-improving record of sustainability, and feed a growing population. 

“As farmers, we are proud of the progress we have made in combining sustainability with increased productivity, and we appreciate that our government recognizes that too,” Harpe added. “As members of this Coalition, we look forward to working with them on policies and programs that continue to prioritize sustainably increasing our productivity.” 

The SPG Coalition boasts membership from across the globe, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Liberia, Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of North Macedonia, United States, Vietnam. It also incorporates several industry partners within academia, the private sector, NGOs and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  

A video with more information on the Coalition can be accessed here.

 

For more information:

Cole Christensen
Communications Consultant
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca
P: 403-589-3529

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 14 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.