Chair’s Report (PCN Winter 2016) JAN 11 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Allison Ammeter, APG Chair
As I write this, I am eagerly anticipating the Pulse Feast on Jan. 6, which will mark the Canadian launch of International Year of Pulses (IYP2016). It will serve as the starting line for unveiling all of the concepts and plans that the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission has worked toward, both for our own province, and on a national level with Pulse Canada and our counterparts across the country.
I count myself as very fortunate to have been so closely involved in helping to chart the course to maximize the benefits to Alberta’s pulse producers from having the United Nations declare a special year for these incredibly nutritious and environmentally friendly crops that we grow.
Ever since IYP2016 was declared in December 2013, the pulse world has been busy brainstorming, budgeting and planning ways to take advantage of such a momentous opportunity. As Chair of the national IYP planning committee, I can assure you that the intervening time has been spent well in planning events, campaigns, websites and social media strategies to ensure that by the close of 2016 more people will know what pulses are, their health benefits, and why they are important to Canada. Please visit www.iypcanada.ca for more information about national IYP2016 events and activities, or APG’s website for news about what’s going on in Alberta.
Alberta Pulse Growers is well-positioned to build on the momentum of international and national plans to educate consumers about the health and economic benefits of eating pulses with our own efforts to increase pulse consumption by Albertans as well. As people eat more pulses, we will sell more pulses – that is how the free market works and also APG’s mission.
Most Alberta-grown pulses are destined for foreign plates, and I fully expect that the buzz about IYP2016 can only serve to increase the demand for eld peas, dry beans, lentils, chickpeas and faba beans around the world and at home. As consumers consistently hear that pulses are a healthy, tasty, and inexpensive addition to their regular diet, they will tend to choose them more.
A focused action for APG, as stated in the five-year strategic plan approved last June, is to influence the development of pulse products to increase pulse consumption in domestic and key international markets. APG is committed to the development of a vibrant value-added processing industry in Alberta We are interested to hear from any individuals or companies looking at setting up secondary processing facilities in the province so that Alberta can reap more of the economic benefits of a burgeoning pulse industry.
International Year of Pulses affects everyone in the industry including growers, trade, food processors, and retailers. We want people from all stages of the journey from farm to fork to be involved in brain-storming, planning, executing, and promoting activities celebrating this special year.
If you have ideas about how APG can further help you as a producer or simply want to hear more about our five-year strategic plan or International Year of Pulses 2016, please attend the annual general meeting on Jan. 27 during FarmTech in Edmonton. Be sure to stop by the APG booth at Farm-Tech and pick up your IYP2016 Proud Producer of Pulses window decal, and a calendar focusing on the IYP2016 themes: Food Security, Nutrition and Innovation; Productivity and Environmental Sustainability; Market Access and Stability; and Creating Awareness.
I have witnessed a steady increase in the popularity of pulses, and I truly feel that Alberta’s pulse industry is about to flourish even more.
IYP2016 will only come around once, and I am thrilled to report that APG and the national IYP committee are all set to make the most of this marvellous opportunity for this amazing superfood that we grow. IYP2016 will act as the catalyst for increasing both awareness and consumption of pulses in Canada, and I believe its legacy will last well beyond 2016.