Over the past century, we have seen the rise and subsequent fall of a western Canadian grain handling system run by co-operatives—its fall due in some measure to management mistakes.
When confronted with the question of who owns western Canadian farmland, the most obvious answer is farmers—and in the majority of cases, this is true. However, concerns have started to emerge about the impact of “outside” or “non-traditional” farmland ownership on farming communities and the agricultural industry as a whole.
“Riding shotgun” is a term that was coined during the days when stagecoaches were the fastest means of transportation across rural North America. If the cargo being carried was valuable, then a security person would be assigned to sit next to the driver with a shotgun and protect the stagecoach during its journey.
Unlocking a new market opportunity for Canadian farmers, food processors and retailers isn’t a process that happens overnight. Turning the potential into reality can take months, even years, of carefully nurturing ideas, conducting tests and building value-chain relationships. However, it’s the hope of real results that keeps many of the players working towards the goal.
A funny thing happens each day in downtown Winnipeg, high above the city’s bustling core. The staff of the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi), Western Canada’s premier grain evaluation facility, busily analyzes grain samples to determine quality and end-use functionality.