“An exciting time for Canadian flax,” is how the new chair of the Flax Council of Canada describes the announcement of a new structure for the national flax organization on Wednesday.
The Flax Council’s restructuring comes after the council decided to close its Winnipeg head office in January due to the need to reduce costs, with one of the factors being Richardson International’s decision to withdraw funding from the council and other oilseed industry groups.
“After a period of some uncertainty, we’re well-positioned to become the next high-value addition to the Canadian farmer’s rotation,” says Flax Council chair Erwin Hanley, in a news release.
The new structure will see the Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission (SaskFlax) and Manitoba Flax Growers Association (MFGA) support flax agronomy and research, including the flax breeding program at the Crop Development Centre in Saskatoon, Sask.
The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) has been hired to work on market development, market access and government relations. The services will be provided on a cost-recovery basis by the CCC.
“It makes sense to share our expertise and infrastructure because we share many members, supporters, goals and challenges,” said Canola Council president Jim Everson. “Working together, we can get more mileage out of every trade visit and can speak with a stronger voice when we tackle issues of mutual concern.”
The Flax Council also has a new executive, with Hanley as director-at-large and chair, Eric Fridfinnson representing MFGA; Viterra’s Bo Hallborg as vice chair; and Brian Johnson of Johnson Seeds as past chair.
“Now we can count on a stable, long-term future with all of the ingredients for success, including a reliable flax breeding program, agronomic support, professional marketing and a strong, united voice,” Hanley says.