The Code of Practice - What you should know

The Code of Practice – What you should know 

SaskCanola is here to listen to growers. We have received numerous phone calls, emails and comments on Twitter from farmers indicating they are not happy with the proposed Code of Practice. The following provides further information on the Code and what SaskCanola is doing to ensure your concerns are heard.

SaskCanola does not support the Responsible Grain Code of Practice as it is currently written.
SaskCanola will provide feedback to the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC), including a recommendation for the next draft to be written in the context of clearly defined goals and the utmost transparency with the farmer audience.

The Code is a product of the CRSC. 
The CRSC developed the Code of Practice called Responsible Grain for Canada’s grain industry. The Code of Practice is intended to be a reference document for farmers that relays a sense of confidence to global customers and reassures consumers that farmers produce crops sustainably. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative with the intention of taking a whole farm approach to the sustainability conversation in agriculture.

For more information, see the Responsible Grain website.

SaskCanola did not initiate the development of the Code.
Canola Council of Canada (CCC) is a participant in the project to ensure that the best available science is being used in the discussion. SaskCanola is a member of CCC and is very supportive of their work in canola agronomy, market access, and international market development activities. CCC represents the entire value chain and it receives funding from growers, oilseed crushers, grain exporters, and seed developers.

SaskCanola is also a member of Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA), which is the national grower organization. They deliver the Cash Advance program to farmers and are involved in policy development and lobby on behalf of farmers. CCGA is a participant on the CRSC and brings the farmer voice to the table.

While this project did not originate from the canola sector, it is always important to be involved when the outcomes can impact farmers and the canola industry. SaskCanola has a very beneficial relationship with our national and provincial canola organizations to ensure that the farmers are always represented, and we can influence the outcome in a strategic way.

SaskCanola identified a need for farmer feedback on the Code. 
When the CCGA and Prairie canola grower groups saw the first draft of the Code in the fall of 2020, SaskCanola, along with the other grower groups, determined there needed to be an opportunity for growers to have more in-depth discussions on the Code’s content and purpose. As a result, SaskCanola partnered with Alberta Canola, Manitoba Canola, CCC, and CCGA to engage a group of growers in a four-part evaluation process to assess the document in detail.

Similar to the general sessions advertised by the CRSC, canola directors and a group of farmers began an in-depth review of the first draft of the Code in early January, 2021 and concluded on February 4, 2021. These consultations will provide feedback to CRSC and the grower groups that represent canola farmers.

SaskCanola advocates for farmers.
SaskCanola is listening to your concerns. We care what you think, and we want feedback from individuals to be able to appropriately respond on behalf of canola growers.

What we have heard so far is that farmers feel the Code does not represent their best interests. It has unclear objectives, is either too prescriptive or too vague, and implies that growers are not being responsible stewards of the land.

SaskCanola is ensuring farmers’ voices are heard. 
We are compiling farmers’ feedback from telephone conversations and our social media interactions. In addition, our farmer-led board is in the process of providing their own detailed assessments. SaskCanola will then work with the other canola organizations to review farmer input and provide formal recommendations to the Code committee. We will continue to amplify the messages you are sharing. Comments and concerns will be presented to CRSC to direct the future of this initiative.

Get in touch: info@saskcanola.com, (306) 975-6620.

Your comments are critical! Thank you to all growers who have already taken time to contribute their thoughts on the Code. 

Since consultations started, farmer feedback has resulted in changes.
To date, the original implementation process has been modified for Responsible Grain. Additional consultation sessions were organized to accommodate farmers who wanted to take part. As a result of the feedback, CRSC has committed to major revisions of the Code and providing a new draft in fall 2021, after the completion of harvest.

SaskCanola’s main priority is research.
SaskCanola was created to invest grower dollars in research and market development activities and this remains our primary focus. Since its inception in 1991, SaskCanola has supported over 426 research projects that have vastly improved growing practices and farmers’ bottom lines.

This includes devoting substantial resources towards understanding clubroot and managing this virulent disease in the province. SaskCanola led the industry in research on the straight cutting which signaled to seed companies the need for development of shatter resistant seed varieties. We have also been at the forefront of emerging diseases, like verticillium stripe. In addition, we are continually exploring value-added opportunities for canola, including canola oil as a heart-healthy choice and new markets for canola products.

We value your feedback!
We will continue to be a voice for farmers and share what we are hearing with those who are developing the Code of Practice. And we will continue to advocate for growers’ interests with CCGA at the national level.

For more information or to make your concerns known, contact Tracy Broughton, Executive Director, at (306) 975-6620.
 

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