Chair’s Report (PCN Summer 2015) JUL 2 2015 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Allison Ammeter, APG Chair
If we were to plot interest in pulses domestically and internationally, you would see that the pulse industry has been on a very exciting upward curve for quite a while. However, I eagerly anticipate that curve to be on a steep incline over the next few months and, dare I say, years. Ever since December 2013 when the United Nations announced that 2016 would be declared International Year of Pulses (IYOP), everyone associated with growing, buying, or selling pulses has been actively planning to maximize the value of the coming year.
In recent months, we have witnessed the development of an IYOP website aimed at consumers. This resource is currently available as it nears completion. Also in development are videos for consumers and health professionals, lunch and learn presentations for medical professionals highlighting research supporting the positive effects of eating pulses on disease prevention and treatment, food industry technical seminars, and so much more in preparation for the official launch. Perhaps the most exciting development is that a global PULSE brand is being prepared for launch this fall. This is branding that will proudly appear on products declaring to consumers that they contain pulses!
In April, traders, growers, marketers, researchers, and food professionals from around the world gathered in Las Vegas for the Global Pulse Confederation’s annual conference (formerly CICILS-IPTIC). At a conference that is known for networking and deal making, there was an additional buzz this year as many of the speakers and sessions focused on the upcoming global pulse brand and the opportunities presented by IYOP 2016.
Why does that matter to you as an Alberta pulse grower? Well, first of all, Alberta exports a large percentage of our pulses, and Canada is the largest pulse exporter in the world. Pulses are a really good news story for us as growers. This is because they are good for the soil due to nitrogen fixation and overall soil health. They are also good for our diet due to their high protein, fibre and nutrient content.
Additionally, they are important to world food security as a food that is edible in its natural form, inexpensive, and easily stored long-term. Consider this: If Canada and the world begin consuming more pulses (whole, or as fractions in food products), how does that affect you? Farmers worldwide will be asked to produce more pulses and should see higher prices. That will also generate demand for better varieties, better disease control, better herbicides, etc. That’s all good for farmers, right?
In this issue of Pulse Crop News, we are talking about just that with a focus on the valuable research projects made possible by investment of check-off dollars from pulse producers like you and me. Read on to learn how APG is working to improve your experience with pulses, and how IYOP will improve the world’s understanding and utilization of this surprisingly good crop that we grow!