The Americans’ recent bungling of trade files means their country is far behind Canada, which must make the most of these new-found opportunities.  |  File photo

U.S. trade mess is Canada’s chance to gain advantage

So, what now? With the U.S. midterm elections done, we have more certainty about who has the power and influence in Washington for the next two years. Unfortunately, that doesn’t provide a lot of certainty for trade. Will the U.S. approve NAFTA2? Will the U.S. attempt to get back into the new Trans-Pacific Partnership? Most […] Read more

Canadians are cutting back on their meat consumption, but producers should take the initiative and do something about changing their minds.  |  File photo

Vegetarian wave may be opportunity for meat sector

More and more young people are banishing meat from their diets. One-third of Canadians are thinking about cutting back on their meat consumption in the next six months. And lots of baby boomers are becoming “flexitarians,” who don’t eat meat on weekdays but fire up the grill on the weekends. It looks like a dire […] Read more

International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr spent a snowy lunch with leaders of Manitoba’s farming and agriculture communities in downtown Winnipeg Nov. 2 just before heading to China.  |  Ed White photo

Trade mission to China reflects new optimism

Three federal cabinet ministers will visit China this week as Canada focuses its trade gaze on the Asian country

Snow was falling and servers were shivering, but the mood was warm and sunny as leaders of Canada and Manitoba’s farming industries mingled with government representatives to celebrate agricultural trade. It was easy to understand why they were so happy. A few months earlier, the North American Free Trade Agreement was in doubt, the Comprehensive […] Read more

Toban Dyck is learning how to harness the power of Instagram.  |  Ed White photo

Social media provides perfect showcase for farming

This is the first in a series of AgriCulture columns about farmers who use Instagram. When Toban Dyck took off for downtown Toronto in the late 2000s, he didn’t glance back at the southern Manitoba farm he was leaving behind. Now he can’t keep his eyes and cameras off of it. “When I moved away […] Read more

Companies that make breakfast cereal have been working to revive old brands, introduce new products and build new markets, but it’s tough slogging.  | REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni photo

Cereal makers not giving up on breakfast food

Cereals continue to suck the wind from the sails of breakfast food makers’ stocks, but one is doubling down on the category to try to reverse the slumping demand. “We could have lifted our foot off the gas pedal on our expansion of single-serve on-the-go items … but we chose not to do so,” Kellogg […] Read more

Veggie burgers and other meat substitutes are becoming madly popular. | Screencap via

Meat losing out to plant protein

There’s bad news for livestock producers but good news for plant protein providers in a new joint study from Dalhousie and Guelph universities. Not only are growing numbers of young people eschewing and resisting meat consumption, but many aging baby boomers are avoiding meat most days. “It really points to a challenge the sector has,” […] Read more

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank raises much of its money through growing projects such as this one near Picture Butte, Alta., last year.  |  File photo

Foodgrains bank declared an impact charity

Charity Intelligence included Canadian Foodgrains Bank on its top 10 list of charities that make the most of their money

Money donated to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank goes a long way and gets to the people it’s intended to help. That’s the conclusion of an independent charity watchdog that has placed the CFGB on its annual list of the Top Ten Impact Charities. It was happy news for the farmer-supported, church-based charity. “It’s such a […] Read more

One of the lessons learned from the 2008 financial crisis is how important it is to carefully manage your marketing plan.  |  File photo

Farmers can learn lessons from 2008 financial crisis

This is the final column in a series about lessons learned from the 2008 financial crisis. They say never let a crisis go to waste, and I hope farmers used the 2008-09 financial crisis to boost their understanding of the various types of risk they face. That’s why I started this series, which I’m concluding […] Read more

Federal legislation implementing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership received royal assent October 25, moving Canada closer to becoming the sixth country to implement the trade deal. | Twitter/@CanadaTrade image

Farm groups breathe sigh of relief now that Pacific deal is ratified

Relief spread fast through Canadian farming’s export sectors late last week as news broke that Parliament had ratified the Asia Pacific trade deal and it had received royal assent. It makes Canada the fifth country to officially join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is a free trade deal involving 11 nations. […] Read more

Many farmers, particularly younger ones, are watching anxiously to see what Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will do with interest rates in the coming months.  |  REUTERS/Chris Wattie photo

Interest rates haunt farmers

For years financial advisers, analysts and economists warned farmers to prepare themselves for higher interest rates. And for years, more than a decade now, they have faced skepticism from many when their caution did not seemed to be borne out by the ultra-low interest rate environment that followed the 2008-09 financial crisis. “You tell me […] Read more