Executive Director’s Message (PCN Summer 2016) JUN 24 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Leanne Fischbuch, Executive Director
Welcome to the summer edition of Pulse Crop News, which shines the spotlight on pulse research. This year has been an exceptional one for research investment from the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission. Total value of current projects is more than $31.8 million, and APG’s contribution is in excess of $6.9 million. We will also look at new research funding opportunities during this meeting.
The 2015-16 fiscal year has seen APG invest the greatest amount of producer funds into key projects since our inception. We can thank the meticulous group of researchers in our industry for their interest in having us as a research partner and focusing upon pulse research topics. Whether it is addressing primary industry agronomic solutions and marketing issues or value-added pulse ingredient innovation opportunities to seek greater pulse demand, the work continues to be relevant and addresses our industry strategic objectives.
Across Canada in 2012-13, the Pulse Science Cluster 2.0 accessed $15 million of federal government funds for a five-year period, and today we begin to prepare for the next phase of government research program funding setting priorities and addressing research needs once more. We look forward to preparing for the next stages of this support with our pulse grower groups across Canada. Additionally, we are expressing an interest in discussions with other crop commissions on common research opportunities where we can work together across the cropping sector to address specific research needs for our growers.
Collaboration is a common theme in our research discussions and will be important moving forward, but collaboration also plays a role for APG in how we as an industry approach our new governments nationally and provincially. This past year’s elections have seen changes to not only Alberta’s government, but Canada’s as well. These changes have put forward a considerable number of new decision makers who may not necessarily know or understand agriculture, but the one thing that intrinsically links MPs and MLAs to agriculture is food.
In March the pulse industry, under Pulse Canada, organized a “Pulse Day on the Hill” event where members of Pulse Canada and staff strategically held a number of meetings with decision makers from the elected representatives and senior public service. Our messages: statements on health of the environment, health of the economy, and health of Canadians were delivered via the concept of FOOD SYSTEM TRANSFORMATION. In my opinion, excellent meetings were had by the group, and as an industry we are looked upon very favourably for our record and positions.
Alberta’s crop sector commissions – Wheat, Barley, Canola and Pulse – also completed a “Team Alberta Outreach” event in early April focusing our messages on the four key areas of transportation, market access, research and sustainability. The Team Alberta group was also joined by Grain Growers of Canada leadership in our efforts to provide an Alberta farmer voice to the discussion. One director from each organization including Grain Growers of Canada, and four staff members from the Alberta grower groups shared the Alberta viewpoint on these four issues. To learn more about these two opportunities and our other recent outreach efforts, visit page 32.
Finally, to continue to promote International Year of Pulses (IYP), APG staff and board members were present alongside three of Alberta’s pulse food processors at the Alberta Legislature on April 21 to hear Members of the Legislative Assembly pay tribute to our industry and the celebrations around IYP. We were pleased for the opportunity to extend messages on health, food security, food innovation, sustainability and environmental impacts and market access and stability.
It is important to continue to spread the positive messages about our industry, as well as to embrace and be proud of our accomplishments celebrating this special year with the world.
We look forward to seeing you this summer and hope that you have a safe and successful growing season.