“We haven’t been good at telling consumers and our customers in other parts of the world how we are sustainable.”
That’s the message from the honourable Ted Menzies at this year’s Prairie Cereals Summit. Menzies was there to give an update to attendees on what the framework looks like surrounding the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC) code of practice. The code of practice committee is made up of five farmers and industry players, such as marketers, shippers, and conservation groups.
“The public wants to know where their food is coming from, and how it’s produced and in some cases they even want to know who’s producing it,” he says adding that it’s something farmers and the agriculture community should be able to provide to consumers.
The code of practice will be voluntary in nature and be a baseline where all farmers could work to attain, just like those in the cattle industry do with its Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program. He says the group of farmers and industry stakeholders will help shape the code of practice to be not too onerous and to be doable on any farm no matter the soil type, farming conditions, or location.
Menzies says that no matter shape and size the code of practice takes, communication will be key.
“The scientific committee will bring recommendations to the development committee, but the guiding principals will all be set out by our communications committee which we think is very important,” he says. “We heard (at the Prairie Cereals Summit) how important communication is — over and over we heard that. We need to remember that we need to do a better job as farmers, as marketers, as the grain companies, (and) as exporters.”