GFM Network News


The United Grain Growers 45,000-bushel elevator at Minnedosa in 1969.

Comment: Looking back at when co-ops ruled the elevator business

A new book reveals new information on the last days of the Prairie grain co-ops

If you’re younger, you may find it hard to believe that farmers used to own most of the Prairie grain and grain-processing industry and that they received part of the profits every year. If you’re older, you may know that, but wonder how that changed so quickly. And did it have to change? That’s the

The farm sector isn’t yet well positioned to fix its labour shortage problem — and it’s not entirely clear large parts of it can be.

Editor’s Take: Farm labour in short supply

Ordinarily, when there’s a shortage of something in the marketplace, classic economic theory tells us prices will rise along with demand, until producers create more of whatever is in short supply. It works for manufacturing, mining and even farming, where the old saying is that “nothing solves high prices like high prices,” alluding to the

While a 600 per cent increase in the number of vegetarians sounds impressive, it only amounts to 3.4 per cent of Americans, according to a recent poll.

Editor’s Take: Beyond ‘Beyond Meat’

How do you separate a food trend from a food fad? It’s a valid, and pressing, question for the agriculture sector, because these fads can have a huge impact. Recall the gluten-free craze of a few years ago, when many fretted over the cumulative impact on wheat prices. Or the fad diets that are basically

On principle ‘buy Canadian’ sounds like a great idea, but promoting Canadian products may not be quite so simple.

Comment: Feds’ Buy Canadian food campaign could be a disaster

The feds want to spend $25 million to get you to buy Canadian. This is a great idea that could easily turn into a marketing disaster

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is going into marketing. It wants you to buy Canadian. The federal government intends to spend $25 million over five years starting this summer to promote Canadian food products and instil pride in what our country can bring to our tables. This is a great idea. But promoting Canadian products may

Comment: Expect data to be at the heart of 2020 trends

Automation, machine learning, consumer transparency and even the weather will mean data this year

Canada’s growers certainly had more than their share of challenges in 2019. Dramatic and unpredictable weather, farm costs, labour shortages, trade wars… all combined to make 2019 a year to remember (or forget). Hopefully, there’s more to look forward to in the coming year. Here are four trends I think will shape the industry in


Editor’s Take: Lobby power

I’m sure at some point or another most farmers have felt their voice is never heard in public policy debates. There’s a germ of truth to it, mainly because of the demographic realities. When less than two per cent of the population is a member of any particular group, they’re always going to struggle to

Facing a cliff of seeing 86 per cent of their farms’ total profit vanishing upon leaving the European Union, why exactly did U.K. farmers heavily favour Brexit?

Comment: Brexit, Boris, and boxing in U.K. farmers

When U.K. farmers voted heavily for Brexit it was an act of either faith or foolishness

Events, like stars, can at times align just enough for you to glimpse your destiny. If you’re lucky, that sneak peek is the critical break you need for success; if you’re unlucky, the starry view spins off into the universe unseen. Farmers in the United Kingdom got that peek after the June 2016 vote that

Editor’s Take: Food as a weapon

It’s hard to imagine how the heartbreaking loss of lives in a jetliner crash could translate into a bacon boycott, but welcome to the wild and wacky world of food politics. The reaction when Michael McCain, the CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, took to Twitter to say what a lot of Canadians were feeling after


Letters: Time for action on BRM reforms

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is disappointed with the lack of clear progress towards meaningful reforms of the BRM suite and frustrated with the lack of urgency in responding to the immediate challenges confronting Canadian producers. The comprehensive review of BRM programs has been underway for nearly three years. While CFA appreciates the continued