AIRDRIE, AB, Jan. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - For Western Canadian barley growers,
achieving marketing choice is only the first step. The next is creating
a robust marketing system, says Brian Otto, president of the Western
Barley Growers Association (WBGA).
"With recent changes to the Canadian Wheat Board providing a 'catalyst
for change' in barley marketing, the WBGA is exploring options and
opportunities to re-focus and re-invigorate Western Canada's barley
industry," Otto says.
Through its "In Search of the Optimal Marketing Structure" study, the
WBGA has consulted with nearly 80 people (including a number in China
and Japan) in all sectors of barley's domestic and export supply
chains. The study is gathering information to put forward
recommendations for the best commercial model for Western Canada's
newly deregulated barley market place.
"We're seeing clear indications that a number of new opportunities for
Canadian barley will emerge," says study co-author Russ Crawford of
Agrinomics I. T. Consulting in Calgary. These opportunities, he adds,
are important to revitalizing the crop, which has steadily declined in
acreage, production and, most importantly, profitability in the past
While malting barley delivers returns comparable to crops such as canola
and spring wheat, the majority of barley grown is typically sold for
livestock feed. The feed market has seen declining domestic consumption
and increased competition from grain corn and corn and wheat DDGs
(dried distillers' grains, a byproduct of ethanol) from Western Canada
and the United States.
The study is finding Western Canada has a number of unmatched strengths
in barley. For example, its production, storage and handling
infrastructure is second to none, and it is one of the world's best
producers of high-quality barley.
In addition, Western Canadian producers could capitalize on the demand
for mid-range quality malting barley and high-quality feed barley.
"In order to capture and sustain new opportunities, a highly responsive
and efficient marketing system is needed," Crawford says.
The WBGA is currently vetting a number of recommendations with industry
stakeholders. Final study findings and recommendations will be released
at the WBGA's 35th annual conference, Feb. 15 to 17, 2012, in Calgary; visit WBGA.org for details.
The WBGA's "In Search of the Optimal Marketing Structure" study is
funded by the Government of Canada's Canadian Agricultural Adaptation
Program (CAAP) as well as Big Rock Brewery, Rahr Malting Canada Ltd.,
the Alberta Barley Commission and the WBGA.
SOURCE Western Barley Growers Association
For further information:
Brian Otto, President, WBGA
Cell: 403-647-7661 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Russ Crawford, President, Agrinomics I.T. Consulting Ltd.
Office: 403-256-2026 | Cell: 403-510-9678 | Email: email@example.com