GFM Network News


New online resource for processors and producers

Reading Time: < 1 minute Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has a new online resource called Meeting Customer Requirements that guides producers and processors through the necessary steps to consistently meet market standards, customer, and regulatory requirements. The resource has four modules that each take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. It helps producers and processors evaluate whether their business is able […] Read more

W.A. Grain and Pulse Solutions plant at Bowden will soon have two new neighbours. The first facility will have a lentil- and pea-splitting line and flour mill, along with dry and wet fractionation lines. A second facility will produce pet food ingredients from pulses.

Customers can’t wait for new pulse plant to open

Bowden facility will ‘fractionate’ peas and lentils into protein, fibre, and starch for the human and pet food market

Reading Time: 4 minutes A new pulse-processing plant near Bowden will tap into an underserved and growing market for plant-based proteins once it comes online next year. “It’s really a no-brainer — we already have markets (for the protein) across the U.S. and Canada waiting for us to get into production,” said Chris Chivilo, president of W.A. Grain and […] 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


Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

We need to count our blessings — and take advantage of them

Our vast land base is a great advantage but often leaves us stuck in the commodity mindset

Reading Time: 3 minutes Summer is a great time for me because of the many international guests I am privileged to host. I was having a lovely lunch with a family from New Zealand when one of them asked, “What are the top two issues facing Canadian agriculture today?” It is not the first time I have been asked […] Read more


Ray Price, Sunterra Meats.

The other side of the temporary foreign worker story

Sunterra Meats has helped dozens of ‘temporary’ employees become 
permanent residents — and they’re revitalizing the town of Trochu

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ottawa’s decision to grandfather the number of temporary foreign workers is being welcomed by food-processing companies. “It’s good news to the extent that we won’t have to send anybody back,” said Ray Price, president of Sunterra Meats, which runs farms, markets, and a small meat-processing plant in Alberta. Federal Employment Minister Mary Ann Mihychuk announced […] Read more

There is opportunity all around us and it’s there all the time

All sectors in agriculture have tremendous strengths and 
every farm operation can capitalize on them in some way

Reading Time: 3 minutes I am a business mentor for a young woman who just landed a multimillion-dollar deal. She and her family took a risk, went without for a few years, and worked hard to get their product going. They had folks who believed in them but more importantly, they believed in themselves. She once said to me […] Read more


(Dave Bedard photo)

Wal-Mart jumps into milk processing

Reuters — Wal-Mart said it will build a dairy processing plant in Indiana to supply private-label milk to about 600 stores, curtailing business with some suppliers in the retailer’s sole foray into food processing in the U.S. The move — announced by Wal-Mart last Friday but not widely reported by media until Tuesday — helped […] Read more

“Just because you’re a body and don’t have a job, it doesn’t mean you’re the right body to work in an industry that has to have a lot of compassion for animals,

Meat packers desperate for workers despite jump in jobless rate

Farm Vote: There are 1,000 job vacancies at slaughter plants, but Canadians shun them

Reading Time: 2 minutes Despite job losses in other sectors, Canada’s pork industry is still struggling to build a sustainable workforce. “For us in Western Canada, it really comes down to availability of labour,” said Darcy Fitzgerald, executive director at Alberta Pork. “We need to have workers available for us, and often, they’re not Canadian, only because we don’t […] Read more


Brenda Schoepp with a group of women she met during her trip to India.

India is a country of two agricultures

The nation is a world player in food, but full of contrasts and contradictions

Reading Time: 4 minutes My visit to India a few years ago covered a lot of agricultural ground — a 1,500-kilometre loop starting in Ludhiana and ending in New Delhi. Our team — nine young agricultural professionals from five countries — experienced a transportation strike, a hit-and-run, watched a car slide off the road and into the jungle, and […] Read more

Jerry Bouma

NOT WORKING: Alberta’s food processing industry needs a big fix

If the province wants a vibrant food industry, it will ‘have to do things differently,’ says expert

Reading Time: 3 minutes Alberta’s food-processing industry faces a grim future without a “disruptive intervention,” says an agri-food industry veteran. “Current approaches toward innovation and growth — particularly in the food industry here in Alberta — are not working,” said Jerry Bouma of Toma & Bouma Management Consultants. “If we seek success and want to grow this industry, we’re […] Read more