GFM Network News


In Quebec, a healthy agriculture is the cornerstone of its rural sustainability policy, and a big part of the reason it will spend an extra $15 billion on farms and related businesses by 2025.

Different in Quebec

History makes Quebec unique. But it takes more than history to account for its approach to ag policy and why that approach is being studied by farmers across the country and around the world

Reading Time: 9 minutes For centuries, agriculture has been a major contributor to the economic engine of Quebec and to the vitality of its rural regions. In 2016, the GDP of Quebec’s bio-food industry was 7.4 per cent, totalled $23.4 billion, and created 12 per cent of jobs in the province. From 2013 to 2016, the GDP of the […] Read more

You have to learn about customers — what they want — and figure out what success will look like.” – Gary Morton.

Got what it takes?

Cutting out the ‘middleman’ sounds like an obvious way to increase farm profitability. And sometimes, that’s exactly how it works out

Reading Time: 5 minutes Maybe there really isn’t anything new under the sun. For generations, farmers have looked at the yawning gap between what they get paid for their crops and livestock versus what consumers pay in the grocery store, and thought there’s got to be a way to capture more of the consumer dollar for the farm. No […] Read more


Behind the Bitcoin craze, blockchain in agriculture

New online transaction technology is being used to secure interactions between grain buyer and seller

Reading Time: 5 minutes [Updated: Dec. 14, 2017] Winnipeg / Commodity News Service Canada – Across the world Bitcoin has caused a flurry of excitement. But as analysts warn about the potential downfall of the cryptocurrency craze there is a part of it that could survive and change the business world – blockchain. “People are seeing potential here. They […] Read more

Mike von Masson, University of Guelph (left), Jayson Lusk, Purdue University and Iris Joye, University of Guelph were part of a panel discussion on communicating about the future of food

Big trends drive diverging high and low income food interests

Panel discussed the future of food and the widening disconnect between growers and consumers

Reading Time: 3 minutes There are larger issues driving food trends that should give farmers opportunities to open conversations with people in the food movement. The challenge is starting that conversation. Jayson Lusk, the head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, told the George Morris AgriFood Policy Lecture on the future of food that influencers are […] Read more


U.S. women own it

When we think ‘farmer,’ we often also think ‘male.’ Because it’s men who own the farmland, right?

Reading Time: 5 minutes The truth of farmland ownership is changing, especially the picture of who owns farmland in the United States, where the numbers are a bit clearer than here in Canada, and where the shift has been underway for decades. The questions are simple enough: How many women own farmland in the U.S.? What are the parameters […] Read more

For these workers inside a ZZ2 avocado pack house, South Africa’s strategy of building its economy on agriculture is providing stable employment and family incomes.

Africa feeding Africa

While North America’s farmers pin their career hopes on the need to feed a hungry Africa, that continent’s farmers are making plans of their own

Reading Time: 5 minutes A core belief in North American agriculture is that our farmers must produce ever more food if we are to have any hope of feeding the world, particularly areas like Africa where the population is growing so rapidly. The numbers are indeed staggering. According to the Population Reference Bureau, Africa’s population will hit 2.5 billion […] Read more


This batch of bread made with CWRS rose nicely in part because there is some salt in the dough.

Cutting down on the salt

Bakers at Cigi are showing international customers how to bake bread with less sodium

Reading Time: 3 minutes The bakers at the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) are hearing the same message as the rest of us: Cut down on the salt. “The aim of Cigi’s pilot bakery is to replicate what the industry does,” says Yvonne Supeene, head of baking technology. “We reduced the salt level in all bread formulations, and in […] Read more

There are so many producers who have great products but can’t get them from point A to point B, especially at volume,” Ferguson says.

The Farm Network takes farm food products beyond local

The Farm Network is pioneering a new category of food business, helping farmers grow their sales of local products to reach commercial scale

Reading Time: 5 minutes When Tyler Ferguson found a distinct gap in Canada’s local food system, he decided to fill it by starting his own sales, marketing and distribution company focused on getting more food products from the farm into retail. That was the first step. But only the first step. “I noticed that a lot of local food […] Read more


The other glyphosate ‘resistance’

Who are the Canadian activists who are pushing for a glyphosate ban, and why are they so convinced they’re right?

Reading Time: 8 minutes In the September issue of Country Guide I wrote about the Avaaz movement’s effort to ban glyphosate in “The Target is Glyphosate“. As I reported then, if you haven’t heard of Avaaz, you should go to its website today. The prestigious Guardian newspaper says Avaaz (whose name means “voice” in several European languages) is the […] Read more

For Manitoba vegetable grower Rolland Jeffries, Kelly Beaulieu’s company can create a market for vegetables that used to get rejected because of size or blemishes.

Picking up business

New food-processing technologies are creating a new era of opportunities, including for crops that just get plowed under today

Reading Time: 7 minutes Behind the scenes in Canada’s food-processing industry, countless entrepreneurs are conjuring up new business opportunities by making more efficient use of our crops, including through improved processing and the use of previously wasted portions stock. Watching over and assisting many of these developers is Roberta Irving, who is in charge of business development at the […] Read more