Stakeholder feedback on Canadian eastern wheat class modernization

This summary provides planned next steps and a review of comments the Canadian Grain Commission received from stakeholders during our eastern wheat class consultation. The consultation period closed on May 20, 2017.

Consultation process

On March 20, 2017, we released our Canadian eastern wheat class modernization consultation document, which outlined a proposal for a new eastern wheat class.

The consultation document was emailed directly to wheat value-chain stakeholders, including producer organizations, industry associations and relevant government organizations. At the same time, a news release was issued. The consultation document was posted on this website, and a link to it was posted on Service Canada's Consulting with Canadians website.

The consultation document was accessed over 1196 times between March 20 and May 20, 2017. A total of 8 formal written submissions were received.

Next steps

Based on a thorough evaluation of the feedback received from stakeholders, at this time the Canadian Grain Commission will not be moving forward with the development of a Canada Eastern Special Purpose wheat class for July 1, 2018 as proposed. To maximize value for eastern Canadian producers and the wheat sector, the Canadian Grain Commission plans to work in collaboration with eastern stakeholders to undertake a thorough review and evaluation of the existing eastern wheat class structure before implementing any changes.

We are planning to have a stakeholder working group in place for September 2017. The Canadian Grain Commission will be contacting affected stakeholders about participating in this process. If you would like to participate, please contact:

Feedback themes

Highlighted below are the prevalent stakeholder comments.

Eastern wheat class structure

In general, the majority of stakeholders supported the need to modernize the eastern wheat classes in order to:

  • streamline and simplify the eastern wheat classes
  • increase system flexibility for producers, breeders, processors and handlers

Stakeholders said that the current wheat registration and classification systems may be limiting the introduction of new varieties that offer a balance of agronomic, disease and quality characteristics. These same stakeholders recognized that new wheat varieties are being brought forward that do not meet the quality criteria for any of the existing wheat classes. They said this situation should not be a barrier to variety commercialization as these varieties offer definite market and processing value and exhibit quality characteristics requested by end-users.

Classifications reflective of actual end-use requirements

A number of stakeholders stated that the 10 existing eastern wheat classes are sufficient. Adding an 11th class, the proposed Canada Eastern Special Purpose class, is unnecessary and does not provide a long-term solution for the issue of registering new or unique varieties. These stakeholders suggested that before a new class is introduced, the current classes should be comprehensively evaluated.

Similarly, some stakeholders said that varieties targeted for designation to the proposed Canada Eastern Special Purpose wheat class could be included in some of the current classes if these classes were reviewed and adjusted. One suggestion was to modify the virtually unused Canada Eastern Red wheat class to allow varieties that have agronomic and marketing value, but do not meet the quality requirements for the Canada Eastern Hard Red Winter, Canada Eastern Soft Red Winter or the Eastern Red Spring wheat classes.

Canada Eastern Feed wheat class

Several stakeholders indicated that the Canada Eastern Feed wheat class should be eliminated since grades included in some of the other existing classes are sufficient to deal with wheat that is downgraded. There is no equivalent western wheat class. However, a number of other stakeholders said the Canada Eastern Feed wheat class should remain.

Canada Eastern Special Purpose wheat class

One stakeholder supported the development of the proposed Canada Eastern Special Purpose wheat class as it would help facilitate Canadian exports and ensure producer needs are being met. Several other stakeholders indicated support for the Canada Eastern Special Purpose class only if varieties designated to this class are handled in a closed-loop system and identity preserved to protect the quality of wheat shipments for customers of the other major wheat classes (e.g. the Canada Eastern Red Spring class).

The majority of stakeholders were not in favor of developing a Canada Eastern Special Purpose wheat class as proposed. Some stakeholders were concerned that varieties approved for the Canada Eastern Special Purpose class could end up in milling or feed wheat shipments and negatively impact overall wheat quality and the Canada Brand.

Some stakeholders said that the Canada Eastern Special Purpose class could open the door for varieties that fail to meet the quality parameters of the 10 existing classes. These stakeholders said that developing a wheat class with no quality parameters could introduce the potential for market loss, price discounts, and a higher incidence of gluten strength issues.

Stakeholders said that adding a wheat class with no identified direct end-use market does not add value for producers.

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