A Four-Point Plan to Keep Trains Moving

The Canadian Canola Growers Association and Canola Council of Canada have policy and government leads representing farmers and the industry in Ottawa. Here are advocacy updates on rail transportation, CGC’s grade dispute process and the International Oilseed Producers Dialogue.

As Canadian canola farmers complete harvest for what is arguably the most important crop in a generation, CCC and CCGA are working with industry partners to highlight the importance of the major railways in getting crop to market. The Canada’s Ready campaign highlights how Canadian farmers and the value chain are ready to do their part to support food security and that we have a plan to do so.

After a significant decrease in production last year due to the drought and heat dome over the Prairies, production is forecasted to be close to the five-year average for canola. Given the many challenges farmers faced last year with rail service during an unusually low crop year, it is imperative that rail lines and government prepare for a return to normal and put in place measures now that will set up canola, and the broader grains and oilseeds industry, for success over the long-term.

To that end, the Canada’s Ready campaign has a four-point plan to help keep Canadian agricultural products moving:

  1. Have CP and CN provide detailed and transparent plans on how they will be moving grain based on a template provided by the Ag Transport Coalition.
  2. Create an Industry/Government Labour Council to track progress of collective bargaining negotiations.
  3. Have CP and CN provide monthly updates on their plans and latest forecasts.
  4. Support the increased utilization of comprehensive performance measurement programs to measure how service providers are meeting their plans and outline improvements for the future.

CCC and CCGA will continue to engage government and the major rail lines on this important issue. To learn more about the Canada’s Ready campaign, visit canadasready.ca.

International oilseed farmer associations align on issues

The International Oilseed Producers Dialogue (IOPD) held its XXIV meeting this August in Des Moines, Iowa. During the meeting, the 15 IOPD members, including CCGA and other oilseed farmer associations from around the world, discussed increasing global oilseed production including ensuring farmers remain resilient and innovative in a world marked by geopolitical conflict, food insecurity and climate change.

In his presentation, Mike Ammeter, CCGA’s Chair, highlighted issues impacting Canada’s canola farmers, including the need for predictable market access and clear rules of trade, for science-based decision-making in domestic regulations, and for environmental programming that builds on farmers’ sustainability practices and recognizes their contributions to global climate change goals.

“By coming together as oilseed farmer associations from around the world, we can better understand the issues we have in common, and together take actions to move those issues forward in our own countries and internationally,” says Ammeter.

In addition to addressing supply chain disruptions of food and key inputs, like fertilizer, IOPD members advance these four policy priorities:

  1. Science and innovation play a central role in meeting global food and energy needs.
  2. Input availability is a serious threat to food production.
  3. Comprehensive trade liberalization is required to meet global food and renewable energy demand.
  4. No one solution will address climate or production challenges.

To learn more about the IOPD meeting and the final resolution, visit ccga.ca/hub/Pages/default.aspx

Grain Commission gives farmers seven days to dispute grade

Mike Ammeter, CCGA chair, presented at the International Oilseed Producers Dialogue in Iowa in August.

The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) has made important changes to their grain grading dispute resolution process, which is now called Final Quality Determination. Now, farmers have up to seven calendar days after receiving a primary elevator receipt to request a second opinion from the CGC.

This producer protection, formally referred to as Subject to Inspector’s Grade and Dockage, was previously only available to farmers at time of delivery. To request a second opinion, farmers should ask the elevator operator to send a representative sample to the CGC for a Final Quality Determination. A CGC inspector then inspects the sample and issues a final, binding determination upon which payment is based. To assist with decision-making, farmers also have the right to watch canola sampling, grading and dockage processes at primary elevators.

The change stems from recommendations provided during the 2021 Canada Grain Act review. CCGA has long advocated for modernization of the grain grading dispute resolution function to better align with today’s delivery practices and the canola marketing environment. While today farmers can only request a CGC Final Quality Determination from primary elevators, extending the right to process facilities remains a CCGA priority. For more information, visit KnowYourGrade.ca.