Expect to see more from the Barley Council in 2020

Every organization has a team working diligently behind the scenes to get the job done. For the Barley Council of Canada (BCC), the team is made up of multiple producer commissions, as well as industry stakeholders.

The six producer groups are comprised of the Alberta Barley Commission, Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission, Manitoba Wheat and Barley, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Producteurs de Grains du Québec, and the Atlantic Grains Council. On the industry side, there’s Beer Canada, Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute (BMBRI), Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC), Malting Industry Association of Canada, and the University of Saskatchewan: Crop Development Centre.

There to keep the ball is rolling within all the organizations is BCC’s executive director, Erin Armstrong. RealAgriculture’s Jessika Guse caught up with Armstrong at the Prairie Cereals Summit last month, and the pair discussed what’s to come within the BCC hub.

“Going back about two or three years, the Prairie barley commissions developed what they call the Barley Action Plan, and that sort of set out a road map for moving forward with the industry as a whole,” Armstrong  says.

Anyone who is a part of the barley value chain met during the first roundtable meeting about a year ago. From there, they coordinated more on “who’s in charge of what,” what gaps needed to be filled and by whom, and then worked to ensure there wasn’t duplication.

“They also took a look at what are the focus areas that are relevant for BCC right now?” she says. The focus came down to four areas: research and innovation, market development, market access, and communication. “Through the industry discussions, and then the internal strategic review, what was decided and agreed to is that in each of those areas BCC will work more closely with [the Prairie barley commissions].”

Some things barley growers can get excited about in the future is the development of a barley research inventory, CMBTC taking the reins of all barley market development, not just malt barley like they were doing previously, and the BMBRI along with CMBTC working closely to develop a new strategy for the uptake of new malting barley varieties.

Hear the full interview between Armstrong and Guse in the video link below:

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