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Provincial wheat commissions working together to create opportunities for Western grain producers

(Calgary, Alberta) Wednesday, July 5, 2017 – In an ongoing effort to strengthen market opportunities for Canadian wheat, the wheat commissions in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will be collaborating with grain companies on a renewed representative governance model and strategic direction for the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi).

The newly announced Cigi Board of Directors includes two representatives from each of the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat), and one representative from the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA). The new Board also has five representatives from grain companies.

“Cigi adds tremendous value to the Canadian wheat brand through technical support and education to our global customers,” said Kevin Bender, AWC director and newly elected Cigi chair. “This is an opportunity for producers and industry to create dialogue around the Board table that will both shape the future of Cigi and continue to build Canada’s global reputation as a producer of high quality wheat.”

This renewal in governance and strategic direction of Cigi coincides with the wheat commissions assuming the responsibilities and financial obligations of the Western Canadian Deduction (WCD), which will end on July 31, 2017. Cigi has asked the three Western wheat commissions for funding that matches grain industry contributions over the next two crop years.

“The three western Canadian wheat commissions are collaborating significantly in research and market development to create new opportunities for Canadian wheat and improve the bottom lines of wheat producers,” said Bill Gehl, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission chair and Cigi director. “We feel Cigi is an important vehicle to open up and maintain global market opportunities for Canadian wheat. It is important we support Cigi and renew the organization’s commitment to wheat and wheat farmers.” 

The collaborative approach taken by the three provincial commissions with the Cigi Board of Directors follows in the footsteps of the ratification of a memorandum of understanding in January, which signalled the continued commitment to provide producer funding to Cigi as well as to core wheat breeding activities currently being funded through the WCD via the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF). 

“We are looking forward to collaborating on this and other initiatives that will bring opportunities for wheat producers in Western Canada,” says Drew Baker, who is representing the MWBGA on the Cigi Board of Directors. “The technical support and education services that Cigi provides benefits all wheat producers in Western Canada and provides a valuable link between producers and end-use customers around the world. The feedback Cigi receives from the new Board of Directors will only strengthen their strategic direction and core business.” 


Media Contacts:

Victoria Russell
Interim Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat Commission

Dallas Carpenter
Communications Manager
Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission

Pam de Rocquigny
General Manager
Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association