CAAR represented agri-retailers on a diverse range of issues in 2017.

In 2017, CAAR continued to focus on advocacy and created positive benefits for agri-retailers on numerous policy and compliance issues. Reflecting on the past year, CAAR is proud to have delivered on its mandate to advance and defend Canadian agri-retail.

“It is CAAR’s promise to you that we will continue working to ensure the collective voice of our membership is being heard and acted upon,” says Lynda Nicol, director of member services at CAAR.

CSA B620 and B62

CAAR spoke on behalf of the agri-retail industry at the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B620/B622 Standard Technical Committee meeting on Jan. 17-18, 2017 in Edmonton, Alta., discussing clauses published in the 2014 edition of the standards that impact anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks. CAAR’s presentation was developed in close collaboration with members of an industry coalition that included ammonia retailers and Fertilizer Canada.

Two working groups were established as a result of the January meeting, and since then, CAAR and Fertilizer Canada have been working intensively with the two groups, seeking an interim solution to changes in the standards for construction of new anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks and increased frequency of pressure testing and visual inspection for nurse tanks.

Delaney Ross Burtnack, former president and CEO of CAAR, joined Giulia Brutesco of Fertilizer Canada and Steve Biggar of Richardson International on April 12, 2017 for an in-person meeting with Transport Canada’s Regulatory Affairs Branch, TDG and the engineering team. The meeting focused on the regulatory process relating to the implementation and development of the CSA B620 Standard, and the implications to the ammonia sector. Following Burtnack’s departure from the association in July 2017, Lynda Nicol took over her participation in these meetings.

In September 2017, CAAR formalized an ammonia committee as a branch of their overall advocacy committee. The committee will work closely with Fertilizer Canada going forward to develop a long-term solution and strategy to handle all regulations on ammonia and nurse tank design.

We have developed the ammonia committee out of recognition for just how important these issues are to our members and our industry as a whole.

“We have developed the ammonia committee out of recognition for just how important these issues are to our members and our industry as a whole,” says Nicol. “Board member Luke Burton and I are involved, and we are working to create a consistent retail voice for all issues on ammonia.”

TDG Consultations

Last year, Transport Canada reviewed the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations under Part 6: Training, seeking to modernize and standardize TDG training with the goal of strengthening training requirements and enhancing the safe transport of dangerous goods.

Following initial consultations in winter 2016, Transport Canada put forward a white paper for public consultation ending Feb. 28, 2017.

CAAR submitted comments on behalf of the agri-retail industry, aligning with comments submitted by Fertilizer Canada and several independent submissions from CAAR members, raising concerns about the approach, such as:

  • ensuring the definition of “competent person” is clear and does not conflict with provincial or other regional definitions of the term;
  • avoiding redundancy with existing specialized training that typically covers both basic and specialized TDG information; and
  • ensuring assessments of competency are fair and consistent.

Equivalency Certificate SH 11960

On Nov. 20, 2017, CAAR was pleased to announce that it received an Equivalency Certificate from Transport Canada providing certain variances from the B622 Standard related to pressure testing of nurse and application tanks.

The certificate, titled SH 11960, is available exclusively to CAAR members that handle, offer for transport, or transport by road vehicle, UN1005, Ammonia, Anhydrous, Class 2.3(8). Additional details, including the development of industry standard markings for implementation and ease of identification, are currently in development by CAAR’s Ammonia Committee.

CAAR members can download their copy of SH 11960 here.

CAAR Training Updates

CAAR made substantial updates to its two anhydrous ammonia safety courses, “Anhydrous Ammonia: Safety and the Farmer – TDG Certification,” and “Anhydrous Ammonia: Retailer Safe Handling and TDG Certification.”

A cleaner and more user-friendly interface allows participants to get the information and certification they need quickly and efficiently. Both courses have been tailored for their audiences and provide the latest information and in-depth resources to continue working safely with anhydrous ammonia.

“Anhydrous Ammonia: Safety and the Farmer – TDG Certification,” is supported by Fertilizer Canada and delivered by CAAR. This course covers safe handling, transport and application of anhydrous ammonia at the farm level. CAAR encourages its members to make sure their customers who work with NH3 are aware of this course, and that they are properly trained and certified to handle anhydrous ammonia on their farm.

The course comes with the new “Safety and the Farmer” downloadable booklet, which includes the most recent updates to the TDG Regulations in Module 7 (Emergency response and incident reporting).

CAAR was proud to offer this course free of charge for the first time in 2017.

The second course: “Anhydrous Ammonia: Retailer Safe Handling and TDG Certification” contains highly-specialized content specific to the safe handling, transport and application of anhydrous ammonia at the retail or distributor level. The course teaches best practices, how to avoid incidents and how to appropriately handle an incident if it does occur.

In 2017 CAAR provided access to the new “Retailer Safe Handling and TDG Certification” downloadable booklet with the course, including more graphics and more detailed descriptions. Thanks to continued sponsorship from CF Industries, CAAR was able to offer this highly-specialized course at a significantly reduced rate for its members.

The 2017 CAAR Conference

One of the highlights for CAAR each year is bringing together members of the agri-retail sector, industry suppliers and business professionals for networking, learning and collaboration at the only national, annual event dedicated to the business of agri-retail – the CAAR Conference.

Held in Banff, Alta., at the historic Banff Springs Hotel, the 2017 CAAR Conference provided knowledge and insight from engaging speakers to help retailers enhance their expertise and build trust with their customers.

Agriculture journalist Kevin Hursh kicked off the conference with an engaging presentation addressing carbon tax, public perception of agriculture and more. Later, three industry stakeholders shared their experience with the Canadian Field Print Calculator during a conference panel discussion on sustainability.

On the second day, J.P. Gervais of Farm Credit Canada examined the industry’s economic forecast, including trade relations between Canada, the U.S. and China, and Bill Keogh of Experiata helped attendees understand how to build a strong customer base through utilizing data. Capping off the conference, Michelle Ray from the Lead Yourself First Institute encouraged attendees to adopt the latest technology to further serve their customers.

“The 2017 conference was an immensely successful event. We had very positive feedback, and can’t wait to provide our members with even more opportunities for growth and professional development at our 2018 conference in Saskatoon,” says Nicol.

A Change in CAAR’s Leadership

In July 2017, CAAR’s president and CEO Delaney Ross Burtnack resigned after seven years in the CEO position and 10 years with the association.

Burtnack was a true leader for the organization since joining CAAR in July of 2007. CAAR is grateful for her many years of service and her commitment to the success and sustainability of the association, its members and the agri-retail industry.

After Burtnack’s departure, CAAR’s board of directors and staff worked to make the leadership transition as seamless as possible as the board underwent an extensive search to find the ideal candidate to lead the association forward into its next chapter.

In January 2018, CAAR was proud to welcome Mitch Rezansoff as the association’s new Executive Director. “On behalf of the CAAR Board of Directors and staff, I am excited to welcome Mitch to the team. His passion for agriculture and appreciation of the challenges our members face will be a tremendous asset to CAAR as we continue to advocate for the industry,” says Martin Kiefer, board chair.

2016 CAAR’s Choice Award Winners

The CAAR’s Choice Awards Banquet marked a decade of CAAR shining a spotlight on the best and brightest in the agri-retail and celebrated their accomplishments and dedication to the industry, their business and their customers.

Winners were recognized at the banquet held during the 2017 CAAR Conference, on caar.org, in The Communicator and in a release distributed to agriculture media. With awards recognizing both companies and individuals, the CAAR’s Choice Awards celebrate the best of the best in Canadian agri-retail. Congratulations to all the winners!

Retailer of the Year: Top Gro Agro Ltd.

Award sponsored by Bayer CropScience Inc.

Agronomist of the Year: Laurie Manshreck

Award sponsored by J.R. Simplot AgriBusiness

4R Nutrient Stewardship Agri-Retailer: AGRIS Co-operative Ltd.

Award sponsored by Fertilizer Canada

Retailer Hall of Fame: Art Funk (1960-2016)

Award sponsored by Univar Canada

Chairman’s Award: David Thompson

Visit caar.org/the-communicator/april-2017 to read profiles on each of the 2016 award winners.

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