Beyond Meat is one of the plant-protein based choices in the Canadian marketplace.  |  Paul Yanko photo

Plant protein needs products beyond bogus-burgers

Will the plant protein craze propel farmers into a better-balanced production system and safer markets? There are lots of reason to hope for that as many food industry experts say they see the present surge of interest in non-meat protein as a developing trend rather than a short-term food fad. If demand for pulse and […] Read more

Farmers will often appear to have few stocks until the price rises.  |  Michael Raine photo

Canaryseed stocks annually unpredictable

MONTREAL — If anybody wants to enjoy a mystery in the western Canadian grain business, look no further than canaryseed stocks. No one ever really knows how much is out there. “The actual supply is a perpetual mystery,” said Neil Townsend of Farmlink Marketing in a market outlook presentation during the Pulse and Special Crops […] Read more

Customers buy pulses at a wholesale market in Kolkata, India. Many observers believe recent Indian government policy that has restricted Canadian pulse access to the Asian country is based on a sincere desire to improve the nutritional quality of its poorer citizens’ diets.  |  REUTERS/Parth Sanyal

Pulse sector optimistic about India

Access to the Asian giant’s market is still restricted, but exporters say they are starting to notice a softening in tone

MONTREAL — The Canadian pulse industry is feeling better about the situation with India. Not much of substance has changed, but the tone has improved, pulse players were saying during the Pulse and Special Crops Convention held Aug. 21-22. “They’ve opened the door to us,” Cindy Brown, president of the Global Pulse Confederation, said in […] Read more


Many prairie farmers will face harvest challenges this year because parts of their crops are fully mature well before other parts of the crop are done.  |  Jeannette Greaves photo

Crop development variability causes harvest challenges

MONTREAL — Many western Canadian crops look great. But many are late and some have a wide range of maturities, as this summer’s mixed bag of weather conditions delayed and mixed up crop development. “Most people (in my area) are saying the crops are at least a nine out of 10,” said Allison Ammeter, a […] Read more

Sylvain Charlebois of Dalhousie University, left, Chris Marinangeli of Pulse Canada and Samara Foisy of Loblaws talk about the booming popularity of plant-based protein during the recent Pulse and Special Crops Convention in Montreal.  |  Ed White photo

Plant-based protein not a fad, say analysts

Food that mimics the taste and texture of meat has exploded in popularity in grocery stores and fast-food chains

MONTREAL — The stunning growth in the plant-based protein market isn’t ending any time soon. That was the message of two food industry experts who told the Pulse and Special Crops Convention that pulses are experiencing a food phenomenon that is reaching throughout the developed world. “Why not plant-based?” said Samara Foisy, director of product […] Read more


The U.S.-China trade war is getting the most attention these days, but Stefane Marion of the National Bank of Canada says the free trade environment of the last 20 years is under threat around the world.  |  Reuters/Ng Han Guan photo

Trade disputes called threat to global economy

MONTREAL — Hearing all the grim talk about slowing global growth and seeing alarming signs from the bond market, it’s understandable that many believe the world is fated to fall into recession soon, acknowledges the chief economist of National Bank of Canada. But unless some wild cards get played, the actual chances of a nearby recession […] Read more

India may have slammed the door shut to most Canadian pulses, but new plant protein extraction facilities are being built in the heart of the Prairies and consumer demand is exploding. This plant is located at Vanscoy, Sask. | Screencap via verdientfoodsinc.com

Pulse sector mood mixes hope with gloom

Access to global markets remains restricted for many crops, but the development of a larger domestic market looms

MONTREAL — At the end of the storm there’s a golden sky, a reward, say many in the pulse and special crops industries, but it is taking longer to reach than they hoped. “We’re so close to having a domestic production side. That’s going to help us all,” said St. Paul, Alta., farmer Don Shepert, […] Read more

Jeff, Dean, Karlee and Janet Friesen on their farm near Landmark, Man.  |  Ed White photo

Manitoba farm family ‘slows down’

The Friesens’ idea of taking it easy is to manage chicken and hog barns, breed dogs and be heavily involved in sports

LANDMARK, Man. — Janet and Jeff Friesen have decided to take it a little easier these days. “We slowed down, moved some things around,” said Jeff about the couple’s decision to sell their motorbike shop and two farming operations. “We were doing four farms and raising a family and racing motorbikes.” Today, on their green […] Read more


Canadian dependence on American market will continue

Canadian farmers’ crippling reliance on the U.S. market is likely to get worse, not better, no matter how current trade disputes work themselves out. That’s how I mentally summed up the viewpoint of National Bank of Canada geopolitics specialist Angelo Katsoras, who spoke to the Canadian Special Crops Association’s annual meeting Aug. 21. The globalized […] Read more

The Protein Highway is a strategy developed by the Canadian consulate in Minneapolis to connect plant protein producers and processors in Western Canada and the U.S. Upper Midwest. With mountains of soybeans, dry beans and other high-protein crops grown in that region of the U.S. and huge amounts of canola and pulse crops grown in the adjoining Canadian provinces, the centre of North America is uniquely positioned to boost plant protein production. 
| Paul Yanko photo

Protein trade urged to resist overdependence on U.S.

Canada needs to focus on developing its competitive edge with agricultural exports to Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. If Canada reverts to a United States focus with its plant protein developments, it will be ignoring the gains made in recent trade deals, worries the Canada West Foundation’s trade expert. “The reality is that we have […] Read more