Ninth meeting of the Pulse Industry Roundtable: Record of Decision

January 20 to 21, 2016 – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Opening remarks

  • Industry Co-Chair Lee Moats encouraged everyone to take the "Pulse Pledge" as a part of participating and supporting International Year of the Pulse (IYP) 2016.
  • Government Co-Chair Greg Strain encouraged industry participants to begin developing input on pulse sector priorities for the upcoming Next Agricultural Policy Framework (NAPF) including feedback on the effectiveness and relevance of current Growing Forward 2 programs and policies. He also reviewed the priorities identified in Minister MacAulay's mandate letter.

Health innovation partnership

  • Professor Dubé from McGill University provided an update on the university's initiative to better link agriculture and food production to public health and healthcare outcomes.
  • The initiative is timely given the upcoming NAPF consultations and the pulse sector's efforts to increase consumer demand for products, such as pulses, with human health benefits.
  • A 'Center of Excellence' was suggested (subject to further discussion) as a potential mechanism to initiate a broad partnership with agriculture producers and health care and promotion providers.

Social license

  • The Pulse Industry Roundtable (PIRT) received an update on industry-led initiatives to strengthen social license including the activities of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC) and an industry-led forum hosted by Food and Farm Care Saskatchewan.

Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, Trans-Pacific Partnership, and China mission updates

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) provided an update on the status of the Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), China export plans and World Trade Organization notifications. Industry members were invited to provide input as part of the current TPP consultations. AAFC will continue to provide updates to the PIRT as required or requested.

Market access and Competitive Intelligence Working Group updates

  • The Competitive Intelligence Working Group (CIWG) highlighted challenges related to establishment and use of Maximum Residue Limits (MRL), with several key markets moving away from centralized systems such as Codex Alimentarius towards individual national lists. This approach creates environment for increased risk with misalignments and the use of defaults (0.01 ppm or a zero tolerance). Industry representatives suggested that TPP provides an opportunity to address misaligned MRLs and related policies.
  • The concept of the Recognition of Scientific Standards (RSS) was presented. The initiative involves the potential for global joint reviews and recognition of assessment and results as undertaken by other jurisdictions.
  • The Pulse and Special Crops TPP Tariff Trade Matrix was discussed including a custom analysis of tariff rates in TPP countries affecting pulses, special crops, and select fractions. The Matrix includes current tariff rates, Most Favoured Nations' rates, rates from key export competitors, and the new rate under TPP.
  • A fababean overview was presented, addressing trends in Canadian supply and global production, exports, and imports. Given the upward trend in Canadian production, members agreed to investigate the commodity further, looking at key baseline information such as volumes and types produced, end uses and key market segments, and market access concerns. The analysis would be packaged in an 'environmental scan' format.
  • 2005 Red Lentil Benchmarking Study was revisited to support a discussion on moisture content and the preferences of both producer and end user segments. PIRT may decide to revisit this discussion in future.

Collaborative Research Working Group and research capacity discussion

  • Members discussed the merit of leveraging the Collaborative Research Working Group (CRWG) to capture research priorities in advance of NAPF.
  • Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) provided a thorough presentation on their analysis of capacity for agronomic research in Canada. The session was an opportunity to examine WGRF analysis to date and provide additional context for the CRWG pulse research capacity matrix and to provide input to the WGRF plans. PIRT members are to provide comment/updates to WGRF to ensure pulses are captured appropriately.

International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants 1991 update

  • It was confirmed that many pulse varieties are now being submitted to seek protection under International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants 1991 (UPOV 91), mostly coming from the University of Saskatchewan's Crop Development Center.
  • Members discussed the current status versus an End Point Royalty (EPR) approach and the potential path forward should an EPR be considered. Extensive consultation would be involved prior to any implementation of an EPR.

International Year of the Pulse 2016 update

  • The official United Nation's launch was held November 10th, 2015 in Rome, with the Canadian launch taking place January 6th, 2016 in Toronto. Both launches generated heavy press coverage and social media presence. The focus is now on implementation of planned events for the Year, targeting consumers, health care professionals, and all other segments along the value chain including processors.
  • Education and awareness tools continue to be created for recipes/online websites to help consumers get comfortable with adding pulses to their everyday cooking.
  • Meetings and an evening event on pulses will be held in Ottawa in March 2016 to target senior government officials and Parliamentarians with a goal of raising awareness related to pulses and promote ongoing activities.

Pulse Canada initiatives update

  • The pulse brand has been developed to help identify pulses to consumers and leave a legacy once IYP is over.
  • The campaign developed to date involves only USA and Canada, including the online "Pulse Pledge" to sign on to try pulses once a week for 10 weeks.
  • Some challenges to date include differences in food product packaging and information regarding serving sizes. There is a consensus in industry that ½ cup of cooked pulses contains meaningful nutrition for everyone. An industry-led whitepaper is being undertaken to help facilitate a broader consensus with nutritionists.
  • Efforts are underway aimed at strengthening tracking information and performance measurement in order to analyse the impacts of IYP and the global pulse brand/campaign's success.

Pulse Industry Roundtable strategy discussion

  • PIRT members reviewed the results and endorsed the overall to strategy on research priorities, health benefit positioning and food ingredient promotion. Industry highlighted the importance of linking the strategy to Minister MacAulay's Mandate Letter including food policy, working with other departments with agriculture interests, climate change, and product health benefits.
  • It was suggestion that the health benefits of pulses should be included as part of the Value Chain Roundtable (VCRT) mandate going forward.

Regulatory Subcommittee final report

  • Members discussed the results of the Regulatory Subcommittee (RSC) and validated the final report to be tabled at All Chairs. A few resonating comments included the importance of consistency of inspections across jurisdictions and the consideration that widely accepted and adopted industry standards should potentially be considered as a base to reduce the burden of existing government inspection regulations.

All Chairs Forum update

  • RSC comments and the concept of regulatory burden will be raised by Lee Moats at the All Chairs meeting in April 2016.
  • Members suggested highlighting to senior federal officials that industry was appreciative of Growing Forward 2 programs to help upgrade their facilities and capabilities.

Closing remarks

  • AAFC will consult members on possible dates for the next meeting.
  • Members were encouraged to submit agenda items for the next meeting.

Annex A: Action items

Meeting / Item Number Action Items Responsibility
9-1 PIRT members to consider advanced input for upcoming Next Agriculture Policy Framework (NAPF) discussions.
  • Consider role of PIRT/CRWG to undertake consultation preparation for research priorities for NAPF.
PIRT Members
9-2 All meeting documents to be posted on FTP link by the Industry Engagement Division (IED) by January 29, 2016, and link will be resent to members.
  • This will include Ministerial mandate letters for PIRT member information/further uses.
  • This will include the CIWG Pulse & Special Crops TPP Trade Matrix
9-3 Comments on the Health Innovation Partnership to be submitted by February 15, 2016 for onward transmission to Laurette Dube via Greg Strain/Ken Hester (AAFC). PIRT Members
Greg Strain/Ken Hester
9-4 CIWG's work on Fababeans to continue with a view to capturing varietal research underway, types produced, domestic uses, volumes for export and potential, and analyse market access. Works towards a fababean environmental scan. CIWG
9-5 CRWG to work with Pat Flaten (WGRF) on agronomic research capacity project. Comments on WGRF work as presented to be provided to Pat Flaten/Ken Hester before February 5, 2016. PIRT Members
Ken Hester
9-6 PIRT proposes that VCRTs should revisit mandate with a view to include health (bullet #5 of existing VCRT mandate). IED
9-7 All Chairs Meeting: Lee Moats to provide VCRT All Chairs debrief at next PIRT meeting, including lessons learned and information on how PIRT can engage on social license and other industry-led initiatives. Lee Moats
9-8 All Chairs Meeting: Margaret, Laura, and Gordon to write to Industry Co-Chair on specific concerns for RSC final report for Co-Chair's use at All Chairs meeting by January 29, 2016 Margaret Hughes, Laura Anderson, Gordon Bacon
9-9 All Chairs preparation – AAFC to compile a list of discussion points and circulate to PIRT members for comment. IED
Ken Hester
9-10 AAFC will look at potential dates for next PIRT meeting (November 2016 – February 2017) and provide dates via Doodle Poll for members to participate by March 31, 2016. IED

Annex B: Participants


  • Lee Moats – Industry Co-Chair, Pulse Producer
  • Greg Strain – Federal Co-Chair, Director General, Research and Analysis Directorate, Strategic Policy Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)


  • Francois Labelle – Manitoba Pulse Growers
  • Gordon Bacon – Pulse Canada
  • Gord Kurbis – Pulse Canada
  • Lisette Mascarenhas – Saskatchewan Pulse Growers
  • Leanne Fischbuch – Alberta Pulse Growers
  • Allison Ammeter – Alberta Pulse Growers
  • Vicki Dutton – ADM
  • Marion Hunt – Hensall District Co-op
  • Margaret Hughes – Best Cooking Pulses
  • Blair Roth – Viterra
  • Martin Chidwick – Agrimonde Pulses Inc.
  • Heather Maskus – Cigi
  • Dr. Bob Tyler – University of Saskatchewan
  • Dr. Rick Green – POS Bio-Sciences
  • Mary Leggett – Novozymes

Provincial governments

  • Christy Hoy – Alberta
  • Dawn Pate – Ontario

Federal government

  • Laura Anderson – Canadian Grain Commission (CGC)
  • Steve Lavergne – AAFC
  • Ning Wang – CGC
  • Stefan Wagener – CGC
  • Sonya Agbessi – Health Canada

Federal support

  • Ken Hester – AAFC
  • Leslie Wylie – AAFC
  • Steve Desroches – AAFC
  • Jennifer Swan – AAFC


  • Jenn Walker – Alberta Pulse Growers
  • Jennifer Evancio – Best Cooking Pulses
  • Linda Malcolmson – Best Cooking Pulses
  • Laryssa Grenkow – Manitoba Pulse Growers
  • Chris Marinangeli – Pulse Canada
  • Irene Hanuta – AAFC
  • Alex Campbell – AAFC

Guest speakers

  • Paul Spooner – AAFC
  • Fran Burr – Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Crops (CRSC)
  • Doug Miller – Canadian Seed Growers Association (CSGA)
  • Glyn Chancey – CSGA
  • Crosby Devitt – Canadian Seed Trade Association
  • Chantelle Donahue – Cargill
  • Anthony Parker – Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Laurette Dube – McGill University
  • Jackie Tenuta – Pulse Canada
  • Daria Lukie – Pulse Canada
  • Madeleine Goodwin – Pulse Canada
  • Julianne Curran – Pulse Canada
  • Pat Flaten – WGRF
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