Representatives from across Canada’s soybean industry have joined together to form Soy Canada, “a national voice to drive growth and progress for the sector,” according to a press release.
To date, 27 organizations and companies representing the entire value chain have signed a letter of intent to support the formation of the organization, with an eye to create “a unified voice to address industry challenges and opportunities from a national perspective.”
Soy Canada has a mandate to:
- maintain and expand market access;
- open new markets;
- increase industry profile; and,
- strengthen relationships among stakeholders.
Signatories to the letter of intent recently elected an interim board of directors made up of representatives from across the country and value chain, including producers, crushers, commodity and food-grade exporters, and seed companies. During a meeting on August 22nd, the board elected an executive and put steps in motion to formalize the entity.
Mark Huston, a farmer from Chatham-Kent and a director for the Grain Farmers of Ontario, has been named as the first-ever chair of the organization. Ernie Sirski, a farmer from near Dauphin, Manitoba and member of the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association will sit as vice-chair, and Clint Munro, who represents crushers, will act as secretary-treasurer.
Farmer directors include: Ramzy Yelda, of Quebec, John Bennett, of Saskatchewan, and Barry Senft and Edgar Scheurer will act as directors-at-large. For industry, Sue Robert will represent commodity exporters, Andrew McVittie will represent food-grade exporters, Mike Nailor will represent seed companies and Martin Harry will be a director-at-large.
The group has begun its search for an executive director to be based at Ottawa, Ontario. The group plans to be fully operational by late November, 2014.