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Sixteenth meeting of the Grains Roundtable: Record of decision

October 25, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario

Key decision points

  • The Canada Grains Council to draft a letter on behalf of the industry members of the GRT to be sent to the Government of Canada (Ministers MacAulay and Bains) to outline proposed actions for the implementation of recommendations of the Agri-food Economic Strategy Table (EST).
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) will work with the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) to respond to specific recommendations put forward in the GRT submission to the Agri-food EST and in the Treasury Board Regulatory Review.
  • A conference call of the GRT will be held in early 2019 to provide an update on the Value Creation pre-consultation phase following the four face-to-face meetings and discuss next steps.

A list of action items/recommendations may be found in Annex A.

Introduction

  • The Co-chairs welcomed 58 industry members and observers and six Federal Government members to the meeting. In addition, provincial government members from Alberta and Quebec and approximately 30 industry and government observers participated via WebEx.
  • The meeting agenda was approved as circulated and an update was provided on the action items from the GRT meeting held on March 29, 2018.

Federal Government updates

  • It was noted that not all agenda items made it onto the final agenda given time limitations. GRT members agreed to have webinars on: Canada’s Feed Sector and Regulatory Modernization; the Food and Feed Safety Working Group; and Electronic Phytosanitary Certification prior to the next GRT meeting in March 2019.
  • Industry members requested an update on the previous GRT action item requesting that Canada be one of the first six countries to be a signatory to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP) and to have legislation presented at the spring 2018 Parliamentary session. AAFC undertook to provide an update either in writing or by conference call.
  • Global Affairs Canada issued the press release during the meeting stating that the bill to implement the CPTTP received royal assent on October 25, 2018. A link to this news release can be found online.
  • A written update on the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC) was included in a package of documents prior to the meeting. GRT members were invited to contact CRSC with any questions or comments.
  • The new Co-chairs were announced for the Food and Feed Safety Working Group going forward. The outgoing Co-chairs were thanked for their efforts. A meeting of the working group will be scheduled for the coming weeks.

Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table (EST) recommendations

  • A member of the Agri-Food EST provided an overview of the EST report and recommendations focused on the grain sector. Labour, innovation and capacity to deliver on the recommendations were highlighted as priorities.
  • The Canada Grains Council will draft a letter on behalf of the industry members of the GRT to be sent to the Government of Canada (Ministers MacAulay and Bains) to outline proposed actions for the implementation of recommendations of the Agri-Food EST.
  • The Canada Grains Council also agreed to monitor the progress of the implementation of the EST recommendations and report back to the GRT on issues that may require further effort.

Regulatory Review

Agri-Food Regulatory Roadmap

  • AAFC and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) made a joint presentation on the Agri-Food and Aquaculture Sector regulatory review process that is underway. The goal of the review is to make the Canadian regulatory system more agile, transparent and responsive with a greater focus on resolving irritants in a timely manner. Stakeholder engagement has been undertaken to help inform the development of a roadmap.
  • A “What we heard” report will be published by the Treasury Board Secretariat in fall 2018.
  • This topic generated considerable discussion among industry participants and the Canada Grains Council agreed to review information from the regulatory review process as it becomes available, hold discussions with key government departments, monitor progress, and report back to the GRT on possible next steps.

Canadian Grain Commission Modernization

  • The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) presented its efforts to modernize the Commission in a number of areas within its current regulatory framework, for example, grain grading factors and wheat class modernization) and noted that the Canada Grain Act has not been updated since 1970.
  • Industry questioned how modernization of the CGC would overlap with other regulatory reviews of the CGC and suggested that policy discussions on the future role of the CGC were required.
  • AAFC agreed to work with the Canadian Grain Commission to respond to specific recommendations put forward in the GRT submission to the ESTs and to the Regulatory Review, but noted a need to better understand industry priorities.
  • The Canadian Grain Commission was also asked to consider the inclusion of quality standards for grading and functionality for new plants and crops not currently identified in the Canada Grain Act. The Eastern and Western Standards Committee will be approached to discuss this ask.

Plant breeding innovation

  • The Canada Grains Council gave a presentation on the global trends in plant breeding innovation. It was noted, that a strong commitment to making meaningful improvements and an open dialogue between regulators and industry to explore and triage proposals for registration of novel products is needed to make progress.
  • Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency attended this meeting and are committed to work with industry to make progress on this issue.

Biotech Working Group update

  • The Co-chairs of the GRT Biotech Working Group (BWG) provided a presentation on the activities of the Working Group.
  • A new technical working group of the BWG has been formed to identify and address key issues and recommendations from the BWG.
  • The GRT supported the proposal that the BWG technical group will develop an action plan to establish both short-term and longer term deliverables on the regulatory process for plant breeding innovation and share this with the GRT by December 1, 2018.
  • An update will be provided to the GRT by March 2019 on options for policy guidance and delivery of programs to bring clarity in the regulatory process in plant breeding innovation.

Grain sector collaboration

  • The Canada Grains Council gave an update on the work it is proposing to undertake to monitor and action the recommendations on the Agri-food EST with a focus on plant breeding innovation and modernization of the Canada Grains Act.
  • The Canada Grains Council will draft a proposal and send it to the GRT for consideration.

Value creation models for cereal breeding

  • AAFC and CFIA gave a presentation outlining two value creation models to be presented to industry for their views.
  • Consultation sessions with industry are being planned to be held in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Ottawa, on the two proposed models.
  • Producers and producer group members noted their desire to see more consultation on the models noting that the majority of the grassroots producers would not be aware that these models are options currently being advanced.
  • A conference call of the GRT will be held in early 2019 to provide an update on the value creation pre-consultation phase following the November/December face-to-face consultations and to discuss next steps.

Seed Synergy

  • The Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) presented on the work that the Seed Synergy partners have focused on for the past two years.
  • The Seed Synergy objectives are to: stimulate innovation; modernize the seed regulatory framework; and build the next generation seed organizations.
  • All the documents from the study, including a report of what they heard in their consultations, can be found online.
  • CSTA will share the results of their member survey on current and future investment in the seed sector (2017 to 2022) when released.

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

  • AAFC provided an update on Canada’s position going into the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety discussions.
  • Industry appreciated the Government of Canada’s efforts to ensure a “reasonable voice” at the negotiation table and the possible reduction of plant breeding innovation market access issues as they felt this work was important.
  • The GRT asked for AAFC to provide an update on the outcomes of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety meeting being held in Egypt in November 2018.

Public Trust

  • Synthesis Agri-Food Network undertook a research project on public trust in the Canadian grains sector and informed the GRT of the scope of the study and requested feedback.
  • Synthesis outlined a draft list of public trust priorities, proposed case study topics and initial observations. GRT members were mostly supportive with some questions raised on the progress of the Public Trust Steering Committee (PTSC) (now being led by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture), possible overlap between the PTSC and the research project, and the funds needed to make progress on this issue.
  • GRT members stated that they would like to see tangible outcomes before summer 2019. They also stressed the need to capitalize on the “Canada Brand”.
  • The Public Trust Working Group will provide an update at the GRT Spring 2019 meeting.

Conclusion

  • The next meeting of the GRT is being planned for March 8, 2019 in Montreal.

Annex A : Action Items / Recommendations

Meeting / Item # Description Responsibility Timeline
16-1 Conference Calls of the GRT:
It was agreed that conference calls of the GRT be organized prior to the Spring 2019 GRT meeting to include the topics of:
  • Canada’s Feed Sector and Regulatory Modernization
  • Food & Feed Safety Working Group
  • Electronic Phytosanitary Certification
AAFC Spring 2019
16-2 PMRA Re-evaluation Review:
GRT members are encouraged to participate in the PMRA review of its re-evaluation program this Fall/Winter.
AAFC will provide the GRT with background documents and timelines regarding the consultation process.
AAFC December 2018
16-3 Government update on trade topics:
GRT industry members requests an update on the direction given by the GRT that:
  • Canada respond publicly and aggressively against measures being taken by international trade partners (for example, Italy pasta COOL) that is leading to increased protectionism and is harmful to trade relations (Action item 15-15) and
  • Canada be one of the first six countries to be a signatory to ratify the CPTTP and press to have legislation presented at this Spring 2018 Parliamentary session (Action item 15-16)
AAFC will provide an update either in writing or by conference call.
AAFC December 2018
16-4 Agri-food Economic Strategy:
The Canada Grains Council to draft a letter on behalf of the industry members of the GRT to be sent to the Government of Canada (Ministers MacAulay and Bains) to outline proposed actions for the implementation of recommendations of the Agri-food EST.
Canada Grains Council will monitor implementation progress of EST recommendations and advise the GRT on topics/strategies that may require a more concerted effort.
Canada Grains Council December 2018
16-5 Agri-Food Regulatory Roadmap:
The Canada Grains Council will review information provided by government on the Regulatory Review, request a discussion with key departments in advance of Cabinet approval, and report back to the GRT on possible next steps.
Canada Grains Council December 2019
16-6 Canadian Grain Commission Modernization:
AAFC will work with the Canadian Grain Commission to respond to specific recommendations put forward in the GRT submission to the Agri-food EST and in the Treasury Board Regulatory Review.
AAFC and CGC May 2019
16-7 Canadian Grain Commission Modernization:
The Canadian Grain Commission will recommend that the Eastern and Western Standards Committee take into consideration quality standards for grading and functionality for new plants and crops not currently identified in the Canada Grain Act.
CGC May 2019
16-8 Plant Breeding Innovation and Regulatory Review:
The Biotech Working Group technical group will develop an action plan to establish both short-term and longer-term deliverables on the regulatory process for plant breeding innovation and share with the GRT by December 1, 2018.
A report will be provided to the GRT by March 2019 on options for policy guidance and delivery of programs to bring greater clarity in the regulatory process in plant breeding innovation.
GRT BWG Dec 2018
 
March 2019
16-9 Value Creation:
A conference call of the GRT will be held in early 2019 to provide an update on the Value Creation pre-consultation phase following the four face-to-face stakeholder consultations and discuss next steps.
AAFC/CFIA Jan/Feb 2019
16-10 Seed Synergy:
The Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) will share with GRT the results of their member survey on current and future investment in the seed sector (2017 to 2022) when released.
CSTA May 2019
16-11 Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety:
AAFC will provide the GRT a summary of the outcomes of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety meeting being held in Egypt in November 2018.
AAFC May 2019
16-12 Public Trust:
The Public Trust Working Group will provide an update at the GRT Spring 2019 meeting.
GRT March 2019

Annex B: Participants

Co-chairs

  • Rick White, Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA)
  • Marco Valicenti, AAFC

Industry Members

  • Tyler Bjornson – Canada Grains Council
  • Brian Innes – Canola Council of Canada
  • Cam Dahl – Cereals Canada
  • Carl Potts – Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (by phone)
  • Catherine Scovil – Canadian Canola Growers Association
  • Doug Robertson – Western Barley Growers Association
  • Dave Carey – Canadian Seed Trade Association
  • Erin Armstrong – Canterra Seeds
  • Jim Smolik – Cargill
  • Bob Friesen – Farmers of North America
  • Jean-Marc Ruest – Richardson International
  • Glyn Chancey – Canadian Seed Growers Association
  • Ian Affleck – CropLife Canada
  • Jason Lenz – Alberta Barley
  • Gordon Harrison – Canadian National Millers Association
  • Günter Jochum – Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association
  • Brian Otto – Barley Council of Canada
  • Jeff Nielsen – Grain Growers of Canada
  • Jillian MacDonald – Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission
  • Todd Hyra – Secan
  • Terry Young – Western Grains Research Foundation (by phone)
  • Kevin Hursh – Inland Terminal Association of Canada
  • Lynn Jacobson – Alberta Federation of Agriculture
  • Markus Haerle – Grain Farmers of Ontario (by phone)
  • Michael Delaney – Atlantic Grains Council
  • Richard Wansbutter – Viterra (by phone)
  • Ron Davidson – Soy Canada
  • Pam de Rocquigny – Manitoba Corn Growers Association and Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (by phone)
  • Roy VanWyk – Canadian Seed Institute
  • Wayne Thompson – Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission
  • Marion McBride – Farmer Direct Co-op Ltd. (by phone)

Provincial Government Members

  • Linda Roy – Régie des marchés agricoles et alimentaires du Québec (by phone)
  • Neil Blue – Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (by phone)

Federal Government Members

  • Patti Miller – Canadian Grain Commission
  • Jocelyn Beaudette – Canadian Grain Commission
  • Simone Gobeil – Global Affairs Canada
  • Anthony Parker – Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Nathalie Durand – AAFC

Guests / Speakers

  • Lee Moats – LLAMM Ltd.
  • Rob Hannam – Synthesis Agri-Food Network

Industry Observers

  • Brian Treacy – Monsanto
  • Claudio Feulner – Canadian Seed Trade Association (by phone)
  • Erin Gowriluk – Syngenta
  • Fred Greig – Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association
  • Garth Patterson – Western Grains Research Foundation (by phone)
  • Debra Conlon – Grain Farmers of Ontario
  • Dean Dias – Canadian International Grains Institute
  • Doug Miller – Canadian Seed Growers Association
  • Doyle Wiebe – SaskCanola
  • Lauren Martin – Seed Innovation
  • Melissa Dumont – Animal Nutrition Association of Canada
  • Ramzy Yelda – Producteurs de grains du Québec
  • Fraser Gilbert – SGS – Agriculture and Food
  • Justin Jenner – Keystone Agricultural Producers
  • Laura Reiter – Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission
  • Lauren Benoit – Young Farmer
  • Shannon Sereda – Alberta Wheat Commission
  • Syeda Khurram – Alberta Barley
  • Sharla Pearce – BC Grain Producers Association (by phone)
  • Sonya Jenkins – Animal Nutrition Association of Canada
  • Tom Steve – Alberta Wheat Commission
  • Tyler McCann – Grain Growers of Canada
  • Mark Walker – CCGA (by phone)
  • Janice Hall – Public Trust Steering Committee
  • Krista Thomas – Canada Grains Council

Federal Government

  • Brian Rattray – AAFC
  • Emily Silk – AAFC
  • Felicitas Katepa-Mupondwa – AAFC
  • Giuliano Tolusso – AAFC (by phone)
  • Maguessa Morel-Laforce – Canadian Grain Commission
  • Sonya Agbessi – Health Canada (by phone)
  • Erin Bureau – AAFC
  • Tony McDougall – AAFC
  • Verna Mitura – AAFC
  • Shane Campbell – AAFC
  • Adam Carley – AAFC
  • Austin Mowat – AAFC
  • Christine St. Onge – AAFC
  • Glenda Taylor – AAFC
  • Emma Reaney – AAFC
  • Adam Arsenault – AAFC
  • David Bailey – CFIA
  • Denise MacGillvray – Health Canada
  • Carla St-Croix – AAFC
  • Heather Shearer – CFIA
  • Darlene Blair – CFIA
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