Organized by Cereals Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission and the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI), the 2017 New Crop Missions will visit 18 countries, each of which are Canada’s top customers for wheat.  Our first stop is with the millers in Canada and the U.S.  It is often forgotten that our most important customers are on the North American continent.

The new crop missions are truly a team effort.  Canada is unique in presenting the entire value chain to customers and, as a farmer, I am honoured to represent Canadian producers on this year’s missions.

As a Director on Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association, CIGI, and Cereals Canada I get to directly work with the value chain and get to see how valuable it is that we continually work together. 

Through November I met with customers in Japan, Korea, China, and Singapore. The Team also met with officials from Government Agencies and had one-on-one meetings with large buyers. 

On these missions, I got to tell our story.  I got to directly answer questions about sustainability, farm practices, and how we as farmers make cropping decisions. I was on hand to address questions on storage practices that impact food safety requirements.  I believed it is important to highlight the technical advancements that help Canadian farmers be as productive as possible, as well as ensuring that we are sustainably managing our farms. 

Quality this year has been outstanding.  Over 95% of CWRS crop is in the #1 and #2 grades.  Over 90% of the 2017 Durum crop is in the #1 and #2.  This is a good news story.

Delivering the technical data on the 2017 crop was only half of the job.  It was also important that we listened to our customers to ensure that the as an industry we are moving to address any concerns. This is how we strengthen the Canadian competitive advantages of, consistency, quality, and cleanliness.  The demands of our customers are the key driving force for Canadian research and innovation.

What has all of this meant to me personally?  I believe this opportunity has given me more information on how important the decisions I make on my farm.  An example of this would be, ensuring I am spraying at the right time, delivering what I declare, and overall being engaged with current and potential market access issues.  I would recommend that every producer look at the www.keepingitclean.ca website, as well as www.canadianwheat.ca.  As a proud, sustainable, Canadian producer I am always looking to how I can do things better, and more sustainable and profitable for both me and my farm, as well as for the industry as a whole.  

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Cereals Canada is a national, not-for-profit organization that brings a broad and diverse collaboration of partners from all sectors of the cereals value chain.