5X5 – NEWS
"Ottawa, ON – Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is seeking feedback on proposed options to change food labels and the food labelling system. An online survey will be available at www.inspection.gc.ca/labelling until June 30, 2015.
This survey is the second phase of consultations for the CFIA’s Food Labelling Modernization initiative. This survey presents specific options for comment, such as revising the format of best before dates, expanding food class names (i.e., “vegetable oil” or “flavour”), and changing the required contact information for food dealers. A summary report of the first consultation phase is available on the CFIA website.
The Government of Canada is working to improve food labelling to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions and support an evolving food sector. Health Canada recently led targeted consultations focussed on the Nutrition Facts table and the legibility of the list of ingredients. The CFIA and Health Canada are working together to improve food labelling. Coordination and integration between Health Canada and the CFIA on these two labelling initiatives are key to implementing changes that will meet consumer and industry needs.
Food labelling is a shared responsibility between Health Canada and the CFIA. Health Canada is responsible for health and safety information on food labels and the CFIA is responsible for all other information, such as best before dates, dealer contact information, and country of origin.
The CFIA enforces all federal labelling requirements.
"Farm cash receipts for Canadian farmers totalled $14.8 billion in the first quarter, up 4.5% from the same quarter in 2014.
Farm cash receipts, which include crop and livestock revenues as well as program payments, increased in six provinces, with the gains ranging from 0.7% in New Brunswick to 13.4% in Nova Scotia. Conversely, receipts were down in Prince Edward Island (–4.2%), British Columbia (–2.4%), Quebec (–2.2%) and Ontario (–1.2%).
Livestock receipts rose by $483 million (+8.3%) to $6.3 billion, while crop receipts were virtually unchanged at $7.9 billion.
Livestock receipts increased in every province, with gains ranging from 0.4% in Quebec to 22.9% in Saskatchewan.
Cattle and calf receipts increased 25.5% from the same quarter a year earlier to $2.6 billion in the first quarter. The increase was the result of a 45.1% increase in average prices compared with the first quarter of 2014. Low North American supplies continued to contribute to higher prices.
Moderating the rise in cattle and calf receipts was a 13.7% decline in the number of head marketed, which fell to its lowest level for a first quarter since 1994. Despite this, and for the first time since 2003, receipts for cattle and calves in the first quarter exceeded those for the supply-managed sector (dairy, poultry and eggs).
In the supply-managed sectors, farm cash receipts increased 2.0% in the first quarter compared with the same quarter in 2014. Increased poultry, dairy and egg marketings were the main reason for the gain.
Hog receipts declined 12.2% to $1.0 billion, as prices were down 16.2%.
Crop receipts declined in every province except Saskatchewan (+8.1%) and New Brunswick (+0.1%). Saskatchewan crop receipts increased $248 million compared with the same quarter in 2014 to $3.3 billion, stabilizing crop receipts at the national level.
Liquidations of deferred grain sales declined by $400 million, negatively affecting the first quarter crop receipt results. Lower corn and soybean receipts also contributed to the decline. Corn receipts were down 24.6% as marketings fell 28.8%. This followed a 19.1% decline in 2014 Canadian corn production levels. Soybean receipts fell 11.5%, as prices weakened after record North American soybean production in 2014.
Conversely, canola receipts rose 16.5% as marketings increased 18.1%. More than three-quarters of the marketings increase are attributable to Saskatchewan. Large price gains pushed lentil and durum wheat receipts higher, both of which are grown mainly in Saskatchewan.
Program payments were up 35.6% from the first quarter of 2014 to $576 million. The increase follows a 49.1% decrease for the January-to-March period a year earlier. Higher crop insurance payments were the main reason for the gain in 2015, with the Prairie provinces being the primary recipients."
• Source: Statistics Canada
"Farmers Edge, a leader in precision agriculture and data management solutions, announced the backing of new investment partner Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
“We are so proud to partner with Mitsui,” said Farmers Edge founder and CEO Wade Barnes. “Mitsui is a premiere technology company with a strong understanding of agriculture and global connectivity. With their support, we are maximizing our ability to disrupt agriculture worldwide into a more productive, progressive and sustainable model.”
Cultivated by academics in agrology and inspired by the possibilities of taking technology to farmers worldwide, Barnes has been bridging the gap and opening the opportunities between agriculture and technology since 2005. The Farmers Edge inspiration has been on the fast track since its inception, winning such awards and recognition as one of the Top 20 Fastest Growing Companies in Canada. The company is the trailblazer of precision agriculture, offering the industry’s most complete package, for every agribusiness, every crop and every geography. Their Precision Solutions optimizes crop inputs, resulting in higher yields, better quality and less environmental impact. This turnkey comprehensive package includes Variable Rate Technology, field centric weather monitoring, high-resolution satellite imagery, in-field telematics and real boots on the ground.
Mitsui joins Farmers Edge investor Kleiner Perkins, announced in early November 2014. With the support of leading global investors like Mitsui, the company is well poised to lead agriculture in continued advancements in cutting edge technology and innovation to farmers worldwide.
“Investing in Farmers Edge meets our vision of embracing challenge and innovation and connecting nations, people, business and technology,” said Jun-ichi Shibuta, General Manager, Social IT Platform Division of Mitsui. “The adaptation and advancements pioneered by Farmers Edge™ meets our vision of becoming a global business enabler throughout the world.”
"World rapeseed stocks are to plunge by 26%, despite the first drop in consumption in nine years, the International Grains Council said, even as CWB underlined weather threats to the important Canadian crop.
Global inventories of rapeseed and its canola variant will “tighten significantly” to 4.1m tonnes in 2015–16, the IGC said in its first full forecasts for next season.
The estimate reflected an expectation of a 67.8m-tonne world harvest, down 3.6m tonnes year on year, and downgraded 600,000 tonnes from a forecast made last month.
“World output is forecast to contract on smaller sowings and reduced yields, with output expected to fall in all key producers,” the council said.
The world’s biggest rapeseed harvest, the European Union’s, was seen coming in at 21.9m tonnes, a drop of 2.2m tonnes year on year.
However, larger concerns have surrounded the crop in Canada, the top exporting country, for which the IGC ditched idea of larger production this year, and forecast a drop of 700,000 tonnes to 14.9m tonnes in output.
The estimate reflected largely a drop in the estimate for sowings, after a surprisingly lower farmer planting intention figure revealed by official data earlier this month.
However, the IGC highlighted too dryness and cold which have hampered germination and growth.
“Concerns have also emerged over recent frosts, which pose a threat to the earliest seeded fields.”
"Canada appears likely to get its first new west coast grain terminal in three decades.
Peter Xotta, vice-president of planning and operations with Port Metro Vancouver, said a number of grain companies are considering building a new terminal at the port.
“It looks pretty clear that there will be at least one. I wouldn’t want to speculate beyond that,” he said.
The port has yet to receive a formal application to build a terminal, but Xotta said things are heating up.
“Some of these discussions are in a fairly advanced stage,” he said.
“I would expect that before 2015 is completed there will be some more public information about the status of these developments. What I mean by that is announcements by proponents.”
It would be the first new terminal on the West Coast since Prince Rupert Grain opened in 1985.
Xotta expects it would take three to five years from the announcement date before a new terminal would be operational.
“Permitting is often more time consuming than the actual construction,” he said.
Xotta couldn’t divulge what companies have been sniffing around the port looking for sites to develop a terminal.
“You can imagine who some of those may be,” he said.
“Most of them are those companies that are active in the Canadian marketplace but historically have not had terminal assets here in Vancouver.”
One of the firms that recently acquired the CWB said it will be announcing a new investment in the Canadian grain logistics sector in short order.
A report published May 5 by online magazine Gulf Business says the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) will soon make a new investment in Canada’s logistics sector.
SALIC Canada and Bunge are partners in a joint venture known as G3 Global Grain Group, which acquired 50.1 percent of CWB earlier this spring with a $250 million investment.
Xotta said companies wanting to develop a grain terminal at the port have a couple of options.
One is to convert an existing terminal that handles a commodity that doesn’t have the same bright outlook as grain. The other is to build from scratch at one or two vacant sites at the port.
“In total, there are four or five locations that could potentially be developed to handle incremental volumes of grain,” he said. “We certainly don’t see all of those being developed.”
However, he did not rule out the possibility of more than one new grain terminal at the port because there is substantial interest in the sector.
“Agriculture is very active right now, and that is manifesting itself in interest in and around our gateway to serve that,” said Xotta.
As well, plenty of investment is happening at the port’s existing five grain terminals.
Cargill is seeking a permit to reconfigure the rail track system in its rail yard to increase capacity and efficiencies.
Richardson International is in the midst of a $120 million expansion that will add 80,000 tonnes of concrete grain storage at its terminal.
Viterra is seeking a permit for dredging and upgrading the ship loading system at its Pacific Terminal. Viterra also operates Cascadia terminal, but no projects are planned for that facility.
Alliance Grain Terminal, which is operated by a consortium of grain companies led by Parrish and Heimbecker and Paterson GlobalFoods, has received a permit to replace the existing conveyor gallery that loads ships.
Xotta said the port is also spending hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure projects, such as the Low Level Road Project, which was recently completed in North Vancouver, where the Cargill and Richardson terminals are located.
“This Low Level Road Project moved the road behind the terminals away from terminals inland,” he said.
It created room for two additional rail tracks behind the terminals, which helped increase capacity at the Cargill and Richardson facilities.
The improvements are paying off, with a 22 percent increase in agri-product shipments through the port in 2014 compared to 2013, although it should be noted that 2013 was the winter where grain transportation went off the rails.
Xotta said the trend points toward increased grain traffic through the port, which is why there is such keen interest in adding new grain handling capacity.
“Stay tuned because it’s exciting,” he said. “There is much more dynamism around (agriculture) than I’ve seen in some time.”