With funding and support from provincial grower organizations like Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG), Pulse Canada works to grow global demand for Canadian pulses and eliminate barriers to trade on behalf of growers like you. Here’s an update from Greg Northey, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Pulse Canada.
As harvest presses on, pulse growers across Canada are putting in the hours necessary to get their crop ready for export to over 140 markets around the world. And while the focus on the farm is getting the crop in the bin, staff at Pulse Canada are focused on several priorities to help advance the growth of the sector and drive value back through to the farm gate.
There is no question conditions have been difficult in regions across the country. In addition to unpredictable weather and extreme lack of moisture, pulse growers have also had to navigate new criteria for applying lambda-cyhalothrin. After a re-evaluation decision from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), the latest label for lambda-cyhalothrin indicates that crops treated with lambda-cyhalothrin cannot be used as livestock feed in Canada. As any crop entering the grain handling system is eligible for use as livestock feed, this poses a risk of becoming an off-label use. To provide growers with the tools needed to navigate this landscape, Pulse Canada once again teamed up with Cereals Canada and the Canola Council of Canada to promote the Keep it Clean Program. In addition to digital and print communications, a webinar was held in advance of harvest to update growers and agronomists on the latest tips and tools to protect the marketability of Canada’s canola, cereal, and pulse crops. As exports ramp up, ensuring our crop meets the requirements and needs of key customers worldwide remains a top priority.
Earlier this summer, the federal government brought into force an 18-month pilot program to re-introduce extended interswitching for Western Canadian shippers. With the support of SPG, Pulse Canada played a key role in advocating for this policy and ensuring it made its way through the legislative process. Expanding access to competitive rail services means Canadian shippers will have the option to achieve efficiencies, reduce costs, and enhance connectivity through market competition. This improvement is vital for grain farmers and businesses of all sizes, enabling them to deliver their products and services more effectively to Canadian and international customers.
The temporary nature of extended interswitching has raised concerns among pulse crop producers. The uncertainty surrounding its future inhibits long-term planning and investment, which are crucial for the growth and stability of the industry. Pulse Canada’s advocacy for making extended interswitching permanent aligns with its commitment to fostering a competitive and efficient transportation network that benefits all stakeholders.
Of course, to maintain Canada’s reputation as a reliable shipper of grain, the entire supply chain must be firing on all cylinders. The strike that plagued Western ports this July was a prime example of how vulnerable the system can be. It is estimated that each day the ports were closed, it would take an additional week to clear the backlog. While it is positive an agreement was reached, attention must now be focused on the outstanding agreements with workers at ports and rail lines across Canada. Pulse Canada continues to advocate in Ottawa for the government to take a more proactive stance on facilitating agreements far before the notion of a strike becomes a reality. Our message is that Canada’s economy is far too important to be held hostage by a single component of the value chain.
At the time of writing this article, free trade with India remains a file of significant importance to the future success of Canada’s pulse industry. The pursuit of a comprehensive Canada-India free-trade agreement that ensures meaningful access for pulse crops would not only expand market opportunities for Canadian pulse producers but also meet the growing demand for plant-based protein in India’s diet.
However, the negotiations for such an agreement must go beyond mere rhetoric. In consultation with members like SPG, Pulse Canada has worked diligently to emphasize the significance of a fulsome deal that addresses existing trade barriers and opens doors for Canadian pulses in the Indian market. Tariff reductions, regulatory alignment, and measures to ensure fair-trade practices are all essential components of a successful agreement. By advocating for a balanced and mutually beneficial deal, Pulse Canada strives to create a platform for long-term growth and collaboration between our two nations.
Pulse growers can expect updates on these and other issues as the fall session of Parliament progresses. If you have any questions on any of the initiatives we undertake on your behalf, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at email@example.com. On behalf of our organization, I want to wish all members a safe and productive harvest season.