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International Year of Pulses 2016 to be recognized in the Alberta Legislature APR 20 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Event and News Release

The Alberta Pulse Growers (APG) is pleased to announce that a Member Statement recognizing 2016 as International Year of Pulses (IYP) will be presented in the Alberta Legislature tomorrow.

Strathcona-Sherwood Park MLA Estefania Cortes-Vargas is expected to speak about the United Nations-designated year honouring beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas during the afternoon session.

“APG is thrilled that IYP will be given this special attention in the Alberta Legislature,” said Sylvan Lake area farmer Allison Ammeter, Chair of APG and the IYP Canada Committee. “IYP draws attention to important global issues like nutrition, food security and environmental sustainability. Attention generated by IYP activities like this will ensure the Alberta industry will continue to grow and keep Alberta pulses competitive at the farm level. It also emphasizes the important role that beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas play in contributing to healthy people and a healthy planet.”

Prior to the Member Statement, local companies that produce foods made with pulses will be offering samples to the MLAs and others in the lower Legislature rotunda. The samples will include No Nuts Pea Butter from Mountain Meadows, gluten-free baked goods from Kinnikinnick Foods, and soup from Souptacular Soup Company.

“IYP is an opportunity to capture the attention of consumers and the food industry, to demonstrate how incorporating more pulses into their diets and food products can improve nutrition and also support the environment,” Ammeter said. “It will leverage the international focus on pulses to build more demand for the pulses that Alberta growers are producing.”

Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, also sees a bright future for Alberta pulses.

“Alberta’s pulse industry has significant potential for helping agriculture to further diversify while it also plays a vital role in addressing global food security and malnutrition issues,” he said.

As people eat more pulses, Alberta farmers will sell more pulses, Ammeter explained. This will contribute to APG’s mission and new five-year strategic plan to increase pulse consumption by 100 grams per capita per week. A focused action for APG is to influence the development of pulse products to increase pulse consumption in domestic and key international markets, as well as to develop a vibrant value-added processing industry in Alberta.

Another target of the APG strategic plan is to increase the arable land planted to pulse crops in Alberta from eight per cent to 15 per cent over five years. This past growing season, Alberta farmers grew pulses on 1.8 million acres.