Canola council reduces role in agronomy, promotion

The Canola Council of Canada is making broad changes to how it operates, including reducing its role in agronomy and promotion.

Speaking at an industry meeting in Saskatoon, Canola Council president Jim Everson says the changes are meant to build upon the council’s core strengths and efficiencies.

“We’re very pleased that all segments of the value chain are fully behind the direction we are taking,” Everson said. “It’s a direction that will enable us to continue our record of leadership, while enhancing our partnerships.”

Everson said the canola council’s 2019 budget is $5.2 million, down from $8.7 million in 2017. Half of the budget will come from producer groups and the other half from industry with a reduced onus on all parties.

In addition, the council will no longer administer variety trials.

Everson didn’t say if the planned changes would result in any job losses.

During his presentation, Everson outlined several changes now underway:

• The CCC will continue its leadership in market access and competitiveness, working in close partnership with allied organizations to co-ordinate activities and maximize impact. Key partnerships include the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, the Canada Grains Council, the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) and the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association.

• CCC crop production and innovation are focused on maintaining and building the supply of canola for the Canadian canola industry. CCC activities will align on research leadership and co-ordination, knowledge creation and transfer, preparing for emerging threats and supporting regulatory and market access efforts. The private sector agronomist community will play a larger role in knowledge transfer and amplification of best management practices, guided by a new CCC sustainable supply committee.

• Consumer-oriented promotion programs will be discontinued in established canola markets. Marketing activities will focus on maintaining and nurturing the Canadian canola brand in established markets. The CCC will be working with the CCGA to develop and deliver a program for canola brand promotion and awareness in new and emerging markets.

• The organization’s funding formula will be more stable and predictable with the annual budget aligned to the new priorities. Producer groups will fund half of the CCC’s core budget, and industry will provide the other 50 percent. The core budget for 2019 will be $5.2 million, adjusted from $8.7 million in 2017.

• The CCC will share some costs with other organizations through new service agreements and collaborations. Some activities will be transferred to other organizations or wrapped up completely, allowing the CCC to focus its budget on programs of greatest importance to all value chain members.

“Our priorities review has re-energized the council,” Everson said. “We have unanimous support from our board, a renewed sense of purpose and the confidence that we are providing value to our members.”

Further details on the council’s Priorities Review can be found here. (PDF format)

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