Responsible Grain Code of Practice: MCGA Position

 

  • The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC) is leading in the development of a Responsible Grain Code of Practice.
  • For more information visit their website at https://responsiblegrain.ca/
  • The MCGA board unanimously objects to the Responsible Grain Code of Practice as it is currently written, and has committed many hours to date reviewing the documents in detail and sharing these objections with the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops.
  • However, the MCGA board recognizes that action is required to deal with the risk farmers face from growing consumer demand for verified claims that their food is “sustainably produced”. We do not want to be put in a position of those unfamiliar with farming deciding what is “sustainable” on a farm. The world outside of agriculture has limited awareness of all that Canadian farmers have and will continue to accomplish in being innovative and sustainable.
  • Farmers need to take the driver’s seat back to communicate more clearly with the world what our rules and practices are, and direct the narrative around how we farm sustainably. The Canadian brand has long been a gold standard, and if we are not taking care of the narrative that’s out there, our brand and our sustainable way of farming will be at risk. One solution may be a Code of Practice, but absolutely not as it has been proposed.
  • We are monitoring and sharing the feedback we are receiving from our membership, and are optimistic that the CRSC will address farmers’ serious concerns with the proposed approach.
  • MCGA is working together with the many farmers and farm groups pushing for a different approach.
  • We will share more about our action, position, and updates in the coming weeks.

MCGA recognized that it would be critically important for farmers to review and comment on this kind of document. When the consultation period was announced, MCGA immediately began communicating to members when the consultation period would be held, how important this document would be for farmers to review, and how farmers can get involved.

MCGA also partnered with canola grower groups across Canada to ensure CRSC provided a more in-depth consultation to farmers, as we recognized that farmers would need the opportunity to have deeper discussion around this document. We engaged a group of roughly 50 canola farmers from across the Prairies to take a deeper dive into the document over 4 consultation meetings. These meetings have proven extremely important to share farmers’ deeper concerns about the process and the document itself.

MCGA worked with Canadian Canola Growers Association, and directly with the CRSC, to voice the serious concerns that are being raised by our board and our membership and push for changes to the wording and the approach.

We appreciate everyone that took the time to review the Responsible Grain Code of Practice, and shared your position, concerns and suggestions through the consultation process.  The consultation process is now closed.

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