GFM Network News


Ottawa expected to ‘officially’ declare ag an essential service

The Western Grain Elevator Association says that designation will clarify things and help to keep grain moving

Reading Time: 3 minutes Canada’s grain industry expects the federal government will soon officially declare agriculture an essential service. Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA), says that designation will have a practical application. “Hopefully it ends all confusion about grain workers at elevators, railway workers and anybody else required for moving grain, as to […] Read more

“Maybe we’ve been focusing on things like yield and maturity and disease tolerance, and protein hasn’t been as high on the merit list as maybe what it should be now.” – Dennis Lange, Manitoba Agriculture

Pea processor wants more protein

Mean protein in western Canadian peas peaked at 24.7 per cent in 2007, but declined to 22.1 per cent last year

Reading Time: 3 minutes Pea researchers have a new focus on protein as plans for the world’s largest protein-based pea-processing plant move ahead in Portage la Prairie, Man. Last January, Roquette, a French specialty food and pharmaceutical supplier, announced construction of the $400-million plant, expected to employ 150 people and process up to 125,000 tonnes of peas each year. […] Read more


Cargill expands food starch line-up in ‘clean label’ push

Reading Time: < 1 minute New York | Reuters — Global commodities trader Cargill said on Tuesday it will increase its offerings of starch product options, seeking to capture rising demand for simpler ingredients and to meet changing consumer tastes. The Minneapolis-based agribusiness will now sell new “native starches” produced from plants such as corn and wheat, as an alternative […] Read more

Film director Cameron backing Saskatchewan organic pea plant

Reading Time: 2 minutes A major new pulse plant has set up shop southwest of Saskatoon with plans to help back development of pulse-based foods and mentor organic growers — and bringing with it a pair of unusually high-profile investors. Verdient Foods on Monday announced the opening of a pulse food processing plant at Vanscoy, Sask., with plans for […] 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

Getting serious about local food

Philly Markowitz is fired up about supporting local farmers in an effort to build up rural communities throughout Ontario’s Grey County

Reading Time: 8 minutes Generations of rugged farmers have worked this rugged landscape. They’ve run cattle, they’ve pastured sheep, they’ve planted crops. None of it has been easy. South of Georgian Bay, the county’s highlands are notoriously cold, the ground rolls unpredictably in all directions, and the soil is just plain tough. If Grey County was an old building, […] Read more


Wal-Mart jumps into milk processing

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters — Wal-Mart said it will build a dairy processing plant in Indiana to supply private-label milk to about 600 stores, curtailing business with some suppliers in the retailer’s sole foray into food processing in the U.S. The move — announced by Wal-Mart last Friday but not widely reported by media until Tuesday — helped […] Read more

The idea may come to you in a eureka moment, Skwark says. But the reality is that getting a product into the marketplace takes hard work, endurance, and a refusal to accept anything less than a great result.

A recipe and a dream

What does it take to add value to Canadian crops? Good entrepreneurial skills and, as you’ll see, a little bit more

Reading Time: 7 minutes Value-added agriculture on the prairies might conjure images of a large-scale industry whose size reflects the immensity of the wheat, lentil and canola fields that stretch as far as the eye can see. And you might think it’s mostly farmers formulating products that add value to what they grow. After all, it sounds so right […] Read more


Is your idea marketable?

The BioEnterprise model could help you get your project off the ground

Reading Time: 4 minutes Farmers are known for being natural innovators, and for finding ways of doing things faster, better or easier. What farmer hasn’t thought at least once: “This is a great idea — I bet I could sell it.” But the reality is that there is a long and difficult road between “the great idea” and a […] Read more

Adding yellow peas to a serving of cereal can boost its protein content by five times.

Peas — your morning cereal

Cereal manufacturers are looking to counter declining sales by increasing the nutritional content of their products

Reading Time: 3 minutes As the quality of processed foods faces greater scrutiny from consumers and media, the food industry has responded by focusing greater attention on improving nutrition in their products. Cigi (Canadian International Grains institute) is currently working with an international pulse task force led by representatives from major food-processing companies, food equipment manufacturers, millers, and the […] Read more