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APG’s New Five-Year Plan Sets Ambitious But Attainable Targets (PCN Fall 2015) OCT 1 2015 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.

The Alberta Pulse Growers Commission (APG) will work to increase the arable land planted into pulse crops from eight per cent to 15 per cent in the next five years as part of its new strategic plan. That would amount to an average increase of 370,000 acres per year.

The APG board approved a new strategic plan in June that focuses the organization’s efforts over the next five years and provides measurable targets.

“We want to see genetic improvements specific to peas, beans and faba beans, as well as continuation of soybean advancements so that growers get the best varieties that produce the best yields for their situations,” explained Executive Director Leanne Fischbuch. “We are working toward improved yields of five per cent per acre for pea, lentil, dry bean and faba bean.”

She added that APG is looking at an increase in soybean acres from 10,000 to 80,000.

APG’s mandate is to help Alberta growers sell more pulses. The strategic issues on which APG will focus are: Producer Profitability – supporting research to increase profitability; Marketing – intentionally work to create and maintain market demand; and Grower Support – provide information and education for growers.

In addition to funding research advancements that enable producers to grow more pulses, APG is also committed to investigating technological advancements for pulse production that would foster the addition of three secondary value-added processing businesses in Alberta where currently there aren’t any.

On the consumer side, APG aims to have pulse products identified on the store shelves as containing pulses or see more Alberta products include pulses. A big accomplishment will be to have Alberta consumers understand what a pulse is, and recognize the health benefits of eating pulses. APG’s goal is to increase pulse consumption by 100 grams per capita per week.

APG Chair Allison Ammeter believes that International Year of Pulses 2016 (IYP) will go a long way in helping to spread the word about the value of adding pulses to the diets of Albertans, as well as Canadians and others around the world.

“Pulses are the future of food,” reiterated Ammeter, who also serves as the IYP Canadian Committee Chair. “I grow them on my farm and eat them in my home. Pulses are a wonderful ingredient in all kinds of recipes. In Canada, there is an opportunity to increase pulse consumption and that is what our national work will do—get Canadians back to the foods that are so great for them.”

The board also updated APG’s values. Recognizing the previous values remain important to the organization, the staff and board determined that accountability, optimism, innovation, collaboration and sustainability better captured the ideals of the organization moving forward.

“We felt that the focus of these five were critical to us moving forward,” Fischbuch said.

The APG board and staff agreed that the current vision and mission remained relevant and accurate. APG’s vision is for a future where pulses are recognized by consumers as environmentally friendly, healthy and nutritious, and recognized by all producers as an essential element in a sustainable cropping system. APG’s mission is to provide leadership increasing competitiveness, profitability and sustainability of pulse production and promote health and environmental benefits.

APG reviews progress on the plan yearly and updates its strategic plan every five years.