GFM Network News


Connecting with customers such as Hideo Suzuki (far right), president for Belex chain of supermarkets in Japan, was a top priority for Alberta Canola director Andre Harpe (second from left) on a recent trade mission. Also pictured are Deputy Ag Minister Andre Corbould and Tanya Fir, the provincial minister of economic development, tourism and trade.

Trade missions more valuable than ever, say Alberta producers

You have to show appreciation for customers and ask face to face how you can improve, says canola director

In times like these, friendship is more valuable than ever. “The mission was a direct result of the China (canola) ban,” said Alberta Canola director Andre Harpe, “When you lose part of your market, you have to make sure your other markets are OK.” Harpe was one of two Alberta producers who recently travelled to […] Read more

Ag and food exports: We’re good but we can do better

Agriculture is a Canadian success story but taking it to the next level requires smart and sizable investments, says economist


Sticking to the status quo isn’t good enough to propel Canada into the uppermost ranks of global agricultural exporters. “Over the past year, there’s been quite a bit of optimism around food and agriculture. It’s been identified as one of the main sectors to grow in this country,” said J.P. Gervais, chief agricultural economist for […] Read more


Canada’s pulse crop sector is positioned well for growth.

The numbers — and the potential — are big for agri-food exports

There were few surprises in Farm Credit Canada’s annual ranking of Canadian agriculture and agri-food exports. We remain the world’s fifth-largest agricultural commodity exporter for the sixth straight year, and have also held steady as the No. 11 exporter of manufactured food products. But “potential” abounds, says FCC’s chief agricultural economist J.P. Gervais. “There are […] Read more

Look past the current woes of African agriculture and you’ll see vast potential, says South African farmer 
Theo de Jager.

African farms are vastly different but share common bonds

Subsistence farming is still the norm in Africa, but agriculture is the 
key to changing its economic fortunes

Africa is a world apart but as in Canada, farming is increasingly being recognized as a key driver of economic growth. “There’s no other way to fight poverty than to create wealth,” South African farmer Theo de Jager told an international gathering of farm journalists here last month. “And there’s no other sector in this […] Read more


Will agriculture and food processing finally take centre stage?

A new report says these two sectors are key to Canada’s future prosperity — 
and that recognition is a welcome development


A recent report from the Advisory Council on Economic Growth highlighted agriculture and food processing as keys to economic growth in Canada. The advisory council called on Ottawa to create a growth strategy for what it calls “agfood,” which it defines as everything from “field to fork.” Its report says that could generate another US$30 […] Read more

Pulse sector still on tenterhooks

India’s insistence on fumigation of pulse imports throws up major barrier to Canadian pulse shipments


Canada’s pulse industry is still waiting to hear whether India will reverse a decision that could seriously hamper Prairie exports to its largest market. For more than a decade, India has required most pulse shipments be fumigated with methyl bromide in the country of origin. But Canada and some other countries were granted an exemption, […] Read more


Cuban export opportunities eyed for U.S. farmers

Lima | Reuters –– U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that farm officials want to lay the groundwork so U.S. agricultural exporters can seize new opportunities in Cuba if the trade embargo on the country is lifted. The normalization of trade relations would allow U.S. farmers to use lower transportation costs to edge […] Read more

Plunging shipping rates could help Canadian exporters

The recent drop in bulk ocean shipping costs strengthens Canada’s ability to compete with other countries, particularly those closer to Canada’s export markets, says provincial crops analyst Neil Blue. High rates just prior to the 2008 recession, prompted shipping firms to build new vessels and there’s now lots of shipping capacity. That’s set the stage […] Read more


Canadian dairy farmers protested against the Trans-Pacific Partnership in late September. Federal negotiators agreed to increase foreign access to Canadian dairy markets to 3.25 per cent, but Ottawa will set up a $4.3-billion fund to compensate farmers and processors who are negatively affected.

TPP trade deal to impact Alberta

Livestock, canola and grain producers say it’s a big win, 
but supply management will see its market share shrink

It’s just what they hoped for — or not as bad as they feared. News of a deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was cheered by export-focused farm groups while getting a ‘it could have been worse’ reaction from many in the supply management sector. “This is really fantastic news for Canada’s beef producers,” said […] Read more

Farmers. Do you know your customer? Try this pop quiz

Alberta exported a record $9.7 billion of agri-food products last year — but where did they go?

Farmers are being urged these days to know their customers, so here’s a pop quiz based on the province’s latest agri-food export stats. 1) The U.S. has long been the No. 1 importer of Alberta agri-food products (raw commodities and processed products). What country is No. 2 and did its purchases go up or down […] Read more