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Beer and Agriculture

The Canadian Brewing industry has been a defined leader on the subject of environmental citizenship. Commencing at the farm gate where one-third of the malting barley is sold and domestically purchased; Canadian breweries strive for a primarily Canadian made product.

Canadian brewers purchase more than $135 million in prairie grown barley every year. Brewers are also important consumers of other agricultural products – such as hops, corn and other cereals, which are worth another $68 million per year to the farm economy.

Beer Canada is a member of the Barley Council of Canada's (BCC) Board of Directors. The BCC is recognized as the national voice for barley.

The Canadian Wheat Board

Canadian brewers purchase all of their barley through the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB). However, purchasing through the Canadian Wheat Board has led to inequitable access to risk management opportunities. Furthermore, the CWB does not offer long-term price transparency to purchasers.

Currently, access to all Canadian grown malting barley goes directly through the CWB. However, as Canadian brewers, we find ourselves at a disadvantage relative to competitors from outside the country because the CWB typically charges Canadian brewers higher prices.

Read more about the Canadian Wheat Board in Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) document.

The Plant Malt Campaign

The Plant Malt campaign was launched by Beer Canada in 2008 to explain the benefits of planting malting barley to potential growers. As demand for malting barley remains strong, there is an increased need to inform potential growers about the benefits of planting malt barley.

The Plant Malt campaign, along with participation in agricultural trade shows, plays a key role in educating farmers about the potential benefit for their operation, to planting malt.

Genetically Modified Foods

Most of the corn grown in North America comes from genetically modified varieties. Grain handlers do not guarantee the absence of genetically modified corn from their main supply lines.

Members of Parliament have initiated private member bills calling for the mandatory labeling of GMO foods. The House of Commons Standing Committees on Agriculture and Health have examined the call for the mandatory labelling of genetically modified foods in the past and their reports have not resulted in any legislative changes. Canada has taken a voluntary labelling approach to GMOs.

Read more about the use of genetically modified organisms.