Sowing the Seeds of Healthy Food Choices
Canadian pulses—peas, lentils, beans, and chick peas—are reaping the rewards of a solid international reputation, and it's no wonder. Canada is a world leader in pulse production and in sales—Number 1 when it comes to lentils and peas—and the crop is now exported to 150 countries worldwide.
Pulses are a member of the legume family. They are high in protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates and low in fat and sodium. They are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Affordable and healthy, Canadian pulses have been a traditional staple of many diets around the world and are now gaining ground as ingredients in a variety of food products.
Quality and variety
Canada's clean, natural landscape and crisp, cold climate are ideal for producing top quality pulses at low cost. Pulses take less energy to grow, produce fewer greenhouse gases and the change of seasons gives them natural protection against insects and disease. As a protein source, pulses have one of the lowest overall impacts on the environment. Pulse crops add much-needed diversity to crop rotations and help protect and improve soil and water resources.
Seeded area in Canada has exploded since 1985, with annual production nearly 5 million tonnes. International demand is the main driver for this growth.
Care and commitment
Canada's pulse industry cares about product quality and customer service. Producers are fully committed to meeting high international standards. In fact, Canada is leading efforts to establish protocols, terminology and evaluation methods for the worldwide pulse industry, in order to best meet customers' needs.
Within Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission, a government body, sets grading standards for pulse crops. The Commission may establish grades with its specifications and set out methods to determine the characteristics of the grain in order to meet buyers' quality requirements. Canada is also pursuing policies that will allow pulse producers to better meet their business demands while remaining market-oriented and globally competitive. These policies capitalize on Canada's strengths in integrating food safety, innovation and environmental responsibility.
From the farm to the fork, Canada's pulse industry is innovative and forward-thinking. Ongoing research and careful crop management have garnered international praise for the industry's scientific expertise. Canada continues to lead the way in meeting consumer needs and tastes worldwide with its willingness and ability to develop and produce new varieties of beans, peas, lentils and chick peas.
Taste the Canadian difference
Canadian pulses are poised to meet the needs of today's health-and quality-conscious consumers around the globe. Further information on Canadian pulses, suppliers and market information is available at:
Trade Service – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Online requests for pulse pricing can be sent to the Canadian Special Crops Association at www.specialcrops.mb.ca. Requests are automatically sent out to all Canadian members.
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