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In Brief… – for Jul. 23, 2009

Big crop coming: U. S. farmers will harvest their largest soybean crop and the second-largest corn crop ever, leading to softer prices for the commodities, the government said July 10. Crop prices will return to “more normal” levels after last summer’s problems in the world’s top corn and soy producer helped drive prices to record highs, said Gerald Bange, chairman of the USDA’s World Agriculture Outlook Board. “We were looking for a bearish report and we got it,” said Jack Scoville, vice-president at Price Futures Group.

Virtually accessible: The Canadian Co-operative Hall of Fame is now a (virtual) reality. Launched as part of CCA’s 100th anniversary celebrations, the online Hall of Fame honours the legacies and achievements of outstanding Canadian co-operators past and present. Inductees include all winners of CCA’s Canadian Co-operative Achievement Award and Global Co-operator Award, as well as 14 pioneers of the Canadian co-op movement. The Canadian Co-operative Hall of Fame can be found at http://www.coopscanada. coop/public_html. hof.

Equivalent: The Canadian Grain Commission and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) have agreed to recognize the Canadian Grain Commission’s Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Canadian Identity Preserved Recognition System (CIPRS) + HACCP programs as equivalent to Advantage Grain, part of the Advantage Series of Food Safety Programs. The agreement means that Ontario grain companies will be able to qualify for both the Canadian Grain Commission’s programs and the OMAFRA program with just one audit.

Getting into Shape: Former deputy premier Jim Downey is investing in the financially troubled Shape Foods plant in Brandon. The $30-million oilseed-crushing plant built in 2006 has been in receivership since October. A Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench judge approved the proposed sale of Shape’s assets to Downey and three other principal shareholders for $5.1 million in June. Downey, who will be CEO, was Shape’s board chairman prior to its closure. He said the company may rehire some of the 60 staff who were laid off.

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