Canada does not have a national soybean sustainability certification program, but some grain companies run their own programs and are able to sell to the European Union. | File photo

Sustainability program intended to ease soybean access to EU

Soy Canada eyes European Union market as it talks with its members this fall about a verified certification program

Canada’s soybean industry is attempting to secure broader access to the European Union and other key markets. “Soy Canada is in the process of implementing a verified sustainability program for Canadian soybeans,” said Brian Innes, executive director of the organization. Consultations with the association’s members and other players are slated to take place this fall. […] Read more

Cattle industry leaders say optimal animal welfare should be and always has been part of their business equation. | Mickey Watkins photo

Cracking the sustainability puzzle

The beef industry is faced with an interesting, yet frustratingly complex riddle: how to help feed a growing world population but still protect the environment and the animals, satisfy the consumer and create a reasonable living while addressing these matters. The answer often put forward is sustainability, but this leads to many more questions. Can […] Read more

The business case says a sustainability index for agri-food is essential right now, because of the pressure on farmers to cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect the natural landscape. | File photo

Benchmark project to measure sustainability performance

National Index on Agri-Food Performance intended to help farmers show progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions

Farming in Canada may be sustainable, but simply saying it’s sustainable is no longer enough. Buyers of canola oil, pork, beef and other foods now want proof that Canadian food is produced in a way that preserves water, air, wildlife and the natural environment. That’s why a group of 34 partners is working on something […] Read more


The business case says a sustainability index for agri-food is essential right now, because of the pressure on farmers to cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect the natural landscape. | File photo

Benchmark project to measure sustainability performance

Farming in Canada may be sustainable, but simply saying it’s sustainable is no longer enough. Buyers of canola oil, pork, beef and other foods now want proof that Canadian food is produced in a way that preserves water, air, wildlife and the natural environment. That’s why a group of 34 partners is working on something […] Read more

Consumers need to know that raising livestock is compatible with the goals of conservation organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada, said Tom Lynch-Staunton, Alberta region vice-president of the NCC. It also complements cultivated crop production by using crop residue and providing nutrients. | File photo

Producers to defend grazing sector at UN food summit

Canadian producers and conservationists want to reinforce to the world that grazing livestock is a sustainable part of the food system and the environment. The United Nations is planning the first Food Systems Summit in 25 years later this fall. Dialogues to prepare for the summit are going on around the world and the Canadian […] Read more


Sustainability is crucial for prairie farm survival

Sustainability is crucial for prairie farm survival

Sustainability — it’s a word you have heard more often in the past decade. Within the last two years a mention can be found several times in every edition of this publication. But what is sustainability? It’s farming, Prairies-style. As a capital-intensive business with inconsistent returns and oft-needed recapitalization, prairie farming is almost exclusively a […] Read more

Western Producer reporters Doug Ferguson, Ed White and Robert Arnason look at the challenges and opportunities created by an increased focus on ag’s carbon footprint — and the pressures farmers face to get it done. | WP illustration

The carbon crunch

The world must cut agricultural emissions by an estimated two-thirds by 2050 to help fight climate change while simultaneously producing 50 percent more food, said an American researcher. Serious efforts must be made to put “real money into what I call collaborative projects … where farmers, scientists, the private sector are working together to explore […] Read more

Canada’s beef production system enjoys some of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of beef in the world, according to Tim McAllister, principal research scientist for Agriculture Canada in Lethbridge. | File photo

Beef sector’s sustainability defended

It is vital to separate fact from fiction when it comes to climate change and the Canadian beef industry, said an expert. “Really, what we’re talking about here in most agricultural systems is trade-offs,” said Tim McAllister, principal research scientist for Agriculture Canada in Lethbridge. “There’s no one system that’s perfect.” However, he said Canada’s […] Read more


Fertilizer is a sustainability risk for the crop, but carbon sequestration may be an opportunity due to no till. | File photo

Sustainability focus may benefit canola

Fertilizer is a sustainability risk 
for the crop, but carbon sequestration
 may be an opportunity due to no till

Palm oil has a reputation problem. In 2019, 41 percent of respondents in a United Kingdom survey said palm oil was “environmentally unfriendly”. That number was much worse than other vegetable oils — only nine percent said rapeseed oil (canola) is environmentally unfriendly, five percent for sunflower and two percent for olive oil. Sustained campaigns […] Read more

Perhaps putting effort into opposing the carbon tax is a distraction from embracing the opportunity for producing low-carbon food, says Lee Moats, a long-time agronomist who switched to production agriculture and now operates a family farm at Riceton, Sask. | WP illustration

Low carbon footprint seen as marketing edge

Farmers need to flip some of today’s annoying consumer demands into tomorrow’s advantages, says an agricultural representative turned full-time farmer. Embracing those consumer priorities might be one of the few things that can make up for the Prairies’ landlocked position. “What if the new quality isn’t just talking about the protein content of our wheat, […] Read more