Further disappointment surrounding Bill C-474

Grain Farmers of Ontario struggles with bill passing second reading

GUELPH, ON (April 15, 2010) – Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) is greatly disappointed with the result of the second reading of bill C-474 last night. The bill passed last evening with 153 voting in favour and 134 opposed. The bill now goes to the Agriculture Standing Committee for review.

Bill C-474 calls for an amendment to the Seeds Regulations to require that an analysis of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new genetically engineered seed is permitted. The effect of this bill will be to introduce non science-based criteria to Canada’s evaluation and approval process for biotech seeds. A move in this direction would represent a serious and dangerous departure from a science based regulatory approach – an approach that has served farmers well in defending Canada’s ability to export agricultural production to other countries.

“A move to depart from a science-based regulatory approach would be an open invitation for other countries to impose non-science based trade barriers on Canada’s grain exports” said Barry Senft, CEO of GFO.

Bill C-474 would eliminate advantages now enjoyed by Ontario farmers and consumers by introducing unpredictable factors into the regulatory process. The bill could indefinitely delay all future approvals on the basis that there may be one country somewhere that would not accept genetically modified crops.

A coalition of farm groups, including GFO, opposed to bill C-474 will take the time prior to their testimony at the Agriculture Standing Committee to build a strong case against the bill and to ensure farmers from across Canada are represented on the issue.

Farmers are encouraged to contact GFO for more information and arrange a meeting with their local MP to discuss the impact this issue will have on Ontario farmers. 

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca

Corn, wheat, and soy: not just for dinner!

Explore the uses of these renewable resources at the Grains in Your Life exhibit!

TORONTO, ON (November 4, 2010) – Corn, wheat and soy not only have a place at your dinner table, these amazing crops can be found within everyday products like household insulation, carpet and kitchen countertops. Grain Farmers of Ontario invites you to visit the Grains in Your Life exhibit, an innovative presentation at this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the International Plowing Match, to learn more. The exhibit offers an opportunity for visitors to explore how these environmentally-friendly, sustainable grain products are used at home, at work, and on the road.

Grain Farmers of Ontario has partnered with Pioneer Hi-Bred and Greenfield Ethanol to create this unique exhibit featuring grain-based structural and design components within four unique vignettes. The exhibit’s living room, office, kitchen and garage vignettes will contain, everything from No-VOC paints and varnishes, adhesives, household insulation, kitchen cabinets, countertop, carpet, subfloors, sofas, wallpaper and fabrics that feature corn, wheat and soy components.

Grains like corn and soy are processed into bio-fuels and used as a sustainable replacement to petroleum products in a myriad of commercial applications. As Ontario is one of Canada’s top producers of corn, wheat and soybeans, these products are an innovative, grown-in-Ontario and renewable source of food, bio-products and fuel.  “From the farm right through the value chain, these grains support Ontario’s emerging bio-economy,” says Erin Fletcher, Manager, Public Affairs and Communications, Grain Farmers of Ontario.

The use of corn, wheat and soy as a rapidly renewable alternative to chemicals also helps drive the development of cleaner, greener, eco-friendly products. “What’s astounding is that many consumers aren’t aware of the harmful VOC’s emitted by everyday household goods. Grains in Your Life is about starting that conversation and providing accessible alternatives,” continues Fletcher.

The Grains in Your Life will be showcased at this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the International Plowing Match. The International Plowing Match is held in St. Thomas between September 21 and 25, and is a premier international event held annually in Ontario to promote the agricultural and rural lifestyles. The Royal Winter Fair is hosted in Toronto between November 6 and 15, and typically attracts more than 326,000 urban and rural visitors. Grain in your Life has been made possible by incredible partnerships with leading-edge Canadian companies using corn, wheat and soy within their environmentally-friendly products:  AllSteel, Wolf-Gordon, Polar Spray, CallRich Eco-Services, Umbrella Cabinetry, Columbia Forest Products, Green Living Flooring, Sherwin Williams, Durra, Herman Miller, Future Fine Furniture, Latitude Countertops, RW Doors and Mohawk Flooring. The interior design was provided by Bennett Design.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Dale Petrie, Vice President of Strategic Development, leaves Grain Farmers of Ontario

GUELPH, ON (March 22, 2010) – Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) announced today that Dale Petrie has decided to step down from his position as Vice President of Strategic Development, effective March 26, 2010.

Dale has been instrumental in working through the transition from the three boards to GFO and focusing the organization on adding value to producers. “Dale has been a great asset during the merging of our three boards,” says Barry Senft, CEO at GFO. “His contributions and commitment to the process were greatly appreciated.”

Dale came to GFO from the Ontario Soybean Growers where he joined the organization as General Manager in September 2007. Dale recently assumed the role of Vice President of Strategic Development at GFO – an area of the organization that includes market development, research and innovation, and public affairs and communication.

These ongoing tasks will be managed by GFO staff. A replacement has not been named but the process to fill the position will commence immediately.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Contact:

Barry Senft, CEO – 1-800-265-0550; bsenft@gfo.ca