The first certified partners bringing the Habitat-Friendly Winter Wheat ecolabel to market include Les Moulins de Soulanges, a mill producing specialty flours serving artisanal bakers across North America and Beam Suntory, a global leader in premium spirits is also participating through its Northern Keep brand.
“From a market development perspective, the launch of this project demonstrated that we can unlock new opportunities when we take an entrepreneurial mindset and mobilize the value chain to work together,” said Daniel Ramage, Cereals Canada’s director of market access and trade policy.
The Habitat-Friendly Winter Wheat ecolabel was designed with input from across the full value chain to be both streamlined and credible. The program leverages the Canada’s grain classification system to identify Canadian western red winter wheat (CWRW) grown in the Prairie region, while research and endorsement from Ducks Unlimited confirms how this wheat offers critical nesting habitat needed to support wildlife success on the Prairies. Through the ecolabel program, companies like Moulins de Soulanges and Beam Suntory have completed the certification process and are eligible to use the ecolabel on retail products.
Brands can use the ecolabel to differentiate their products, meet growing consumer demand for sustainable products and support local, all while fostering positive environmental outcomes. The ecolabel allows food manufacturers to use CWRW to differentiate their products and meet growing consumer demand for sustainability. For farmers the ecolabel helps build demand for CWRW, maintaining it as a viable option in crop rotations and unlocking new value.
More broadly, it helps put a spotlight on positive sustainability outcomes in Canadian agriculture. Since launching, we have seen this spotlight though the positive media attention and conversations the project has generated to-date including coverage through CTV, Global TV, CBC/Radio-Canada, the Free Press, the Western Producer, Manitoba Co-operator and many more.
The Ecolabel initiative is jointly supported by Cereals Canada, Alberta Wheat and Barley Commission, Saskatchewan Winter Cereals Development Commission, Manitoba Crop Alliance, end-user companies and Ducks Unlimited Canada.
For more information go to www.habitatwheat.ca and follow-on Twitter @habitatwheat