Canadian Grain Commission
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Canadian wheat



Introduction

The vast majority of Canadian wheat is produced in western Canada (Manitoba and provinces to the west). A high proportion of western Canadian wheat is exported, and it is marketed in a highly regulated fashion. As soon as western Canadian wheat is delivered by producers to a grain elevator the wheat becomes the property of the Canadian Wheat Board, which is a single desk seller for western Canadian wheat. Approval for registration into any of the eight classes of wheat in western Canada is based on merit according to disease resistance, agronomic performance and processing quality.

Wheat is also produced in eastern Canada, primarily in southern Ontario. Eastern Canadian wheat is also registered on the basis of merit, although processing quality models are not quite as strictly defined as for western Canada. There is no single desk seller for eastern Canadian wheat. Eastern Canadian wheat is marketed by private trading companies and the Ontario Wheat Producers Marketing Board. Approximately 50% of eastern Canadian wheat disappears domestically.

The Canadian Grain Commission, a Department within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), oversees quality assurance of Canadian grains, oilseeds, pulses and special crops. The Canadian Grain Commission is headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba and has regional offices across Canada. The Canadian Grain Commission derives its authority from the Canada Grain Act, an Act of Parliament, enacted in 1912, and revised most recently in 1995. Subject to the Canada Grain Act, the Canadian Grain Commission “shall, in the interests of grain producers, establish and maintain standards of quality for Canadian grain and regulate grain handling in Canada, to ensure a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets.” The Canadian Grain Commission quality assurance system is in effect from the time producers deliver their crops until they are received by the customer. In fulfilling its role, the Canadian Grain Commission:

  • acts as an unbiased regulator in the best interest of all elements of the Canadian grain industry;
  • licenses grain elevators, monitors their operations, and ensures that facilities are in good operating condition and free of infestation;
  • sets grade standards in consultation with the industry;
  • supervises weighing of incoming grain at terminal elevators and assigns a grade;
  • supervises weighing during vessel loading for export, and continuously takes samples and grades the grain during loading;
  • issues certificates that report the weight and grade of export vessel shipments;
  • conducts scientific research in support of quality assurance and grain marketing;
  • monitors the quality and safety of Canadian wheat;
  • provides technical assistance to marketers and customers, and investigates if there is a disagreement concerning quantity or quality of a shipment;
  • participates in quality testing of wheat breeding lines and supports wheat marketing programs.

More information on the duties and responsibilities of the Canadian Grain Commission can be found on the Canadian Grain Commission web site at www.grainscanada.gc.ca.