Executive Director’s Message (PCN Winter 2017) JAN 4 2017 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Leanne Fischbuch, Executive Director
Canadian pulses have many good messages. We speak about health benefits, nutrition, protein, satiety, about growing the markets and expanding pulse ingredient use and increasing pulse consumption. All of these messages are fantastic to hear, but one of the greatest opportunities for discussion is the contribution that pulses make to the cropping system. Farmers know this through rotational benefits. This message is one of sustainability and one that directly contributes to climate change conversations.
Climate change is a priority for our provincial and federal governments. While pulses have a great message on multiple items, we feel it is in our best interests to work within the Team Alberta approach and have the perspectives of farmers who employ cropping systems talk about what they do in terms of sustainable practices to sequester carbon, and how changes in regulations will affect their businesses.
This fall, Team Alberta – Alberta’s four major crop commissions, Barley, Canola Producers, Wheat and Pulse Growers – have been busy meeting with government to share how the cropping sector is part of the climate change solution. Farmer Directors and commission staff met with the Ministers of Environment and Sustainability, Agriculture and Forestry, the Deputy Premier and the Deputy Minister of the Alberta Climate Change Office to discuss the implications and mitigation solutions as it relates to the provincial climate change strategy.
With the provincial government, the best approach to the topic is with strong evidence-based positions on how our industry is already reducing the carbon footprint. Provincially, the commissions will continue to voice how our sustainability and cropping system approach provides continuous improvement that should be recognized by government as part of the solution to the climate change discussions.
Federally, we are just beginning to work towards how the government’s Pan Canadian approach to carbon pricing will affect the cropping sector. While we are part of the solution to climate change, we do have to be strong in our positioning that any additional regulatory burden pushed upon producers may make us less competitive in our markets as our industry continues to be highly export focused. For the pulse industry, many of our international markets are not expressing requirements for products produced with reductions in CO2 emissions.
This edition of Pulse Crop News has a focus on sustainability and climate change. You’ve heard about how APG is working on the climate change discussion and to learn more about how we are working towards sustainability, please read the Pulse Canada story on the Canadian Field-Print Calculator Initiative on page 8.
Research Priorities Announced
Recently at Agri-Trade in Red Deer, growers who visited the APG booth were surprised that APG is investing a significant proportion of funding in pulse research activities. At present, APG’s total research investment is over $6.9 million. This year, the pulse industry is working to prepare for the next round of federal government Agri-Innovation Program funding through the Cluster programs.
The current Pulse Cluster expires on March 31, 2018. To prepare for a national Pulse Cluster application, the pulse industry met with counterparts from across Canada and worked on overarching research priorities and objectives for the next round of Cluster programming. On behalf of the Canadian pulse industry Dr. Jenn Walker, APG Research Officer, presented our information to scientists at the Canadian Pulse Research Workshop.
Please see page 14 for information on the new national pulse industry research priorities.
Annual General Meeting February 1, 2017
APG is also preparing for our Annual General Meeting scheduled for Feb. 1, 2017. Directors will be pleased to provide information on the activities of the organization, as well as the financial status of the commission. APG requests of the membership the opportunity to bring forward resolutions at the AGM. Resolutions must be made in advance and submitted to the APG office by no later than end of the business day on Jan. 16.
In addition, APG is also looking for interested individuals to let their names stand for the Director-at-Large positions for Bean and Non-Bean. These are one-year positions elected during the AGM. Potential nominees are requested to submit their nominations to the APG office by the end of the business day on Jan. 16.
During the coming year, APG will also embark on changes to our Marketing Council regulations, and the AGM provides a chance for APG to discuss our proposal with the membership. The key changes include the following: moving the Municipal District of Acadia into Zone 2, increasing the Director terms to a maximum of two four-year terms, increasing the Director-at-Large term from one year to two years. Requesting changes to regulations is a lengthy process and when the changes are approved, APG will define the year in which they will be operational. We anticipate that none of these changes will be in place for the 2016-17 crop year, but will hopefully be in place for the 2017-18 year. Please see the next page for more information on changing regulations.
APG Directors and staff look forward to addressing your questions about Alberta’s pulse industry in the new year.