Changing energy landscape means opportunity for Canadian agriculture, says FCC

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Canada’s agriculture industry is in a unique position to meet changing global energy demands, Farm Credit Canada says in its latest Knowledge Insider report.
The issue highlights shifts in the energy landscape, and what it may mean for Canadian producers and agribusiness owners.
“Two things are for certain,” says Kellie Garrett, senior vice-president of strategy, knowledge and reputation with FCC. “One, the global population continues to grow, and two, this growth means an increased need for food and affordable energy to sustain us.
“Agriculture depends on energy and also has the ability to produce it. This edition of Knowledge Insider examines some important questions that are relevant to everyone who’s involved in the industry.”
The report profiles businesses such as the Manitoba-based Vanderveen’s Greenhouses Ltd. as an example of how agribusinesses are adapting to the new energy environment.
Kelvin Vanderveen developed an alternative heating source to deal with volatile energy costs. He discovered a local solution using flax shives, something that he learned no one else in the world was doing. Today, Vanderveen continues to build on his energy investment.
Experts predict that in less than 40 years, the world will need 70 per cent more food to feed a projected global population of nine billion people.“This edition of the magazine offers tips on how to prepare your business, monitor trends and navigate risk in a changing energy landscape,” says Garrett.
Some highlights from publication include:
• How the tension between the need for sustainability and profitability could continue to shape the future of the energy landscape;
• Inspiration from Canadian agribusiness owners who are changing their energy practices and strategies to better prepare for the road ahead;
• Monitoring trends in three key areas: innovations in science and technology, changing policies and principles, and volatile markets;
• Various technological breakthroughs indicate that the future will bring a mix of renewable and non-renewable energy sources;
“Never has Canadian agriculture mattered more to Canada and the world,” Garrett says. “And, nothing is better than sharing knowledge and learning from others in the industry. I welcome feedback and invite our readers to share their experiences by emailing us.”
Knowledge Insider, published twice each year, shares insights about how farmers and agribusinesses can prepare for success in a changing world. The current issue is a follow up to the 2009 energy edition. A complete copy as well as past issues can be found at www.fcc.ca/insider.