ESSENTIAL NEWS FOR AGRI-RETAILERS
The CAAR Communicator

October Issue – See All

It is Time to Stop the Fear Mongering

Growing with marketing campaigns of agriculture food products in Canada and internationally is the increased utilization of fear as a marketing weapon. Statements of non-GMO, grass fed only, organic and antibiotic-free create doubt and fear in the minds of the consumer. Are the products I purchase and consume less nutritious or harmful to our families?

CAAR Communicator: The Power of Technology

New study shows how advanced technology farming can provide environmental and financial benefits.

Agroecology: Who's definition is it?

Despite being the trendy buzzword in agriculture, agroecology is defined differently by country and organization. Even Canada has multiple visions.

Get to Know the CAAR Board: Blaine Cochrane

CAAR Communicator chatted with Blaine Cochrane, Sales Manager with Shur-Gro Farm Services in Brandon, Manitoba to learn about the person and career, his leadership within the ag retail sector, and why he decided to become a part of the CAAR Board team. Oh, and something about mountains.

CAAR News

CAAR’s 27th Annual Conference
Currently CAAR is planning to host an in-person conference to be held February 8-10, 2022 in Edmonton. The theme of our 27th Annual Conference is Resilience: Adapt & Advance. CAAR staff and Conference Committee are continuing to finalize the agenda roster of speakers. Once finalized, this information will be shared in the CAAR Network at www.caar.org and via Twitter (@CdnAgRetail). Those interested in sponsorship opportunities or exhibiting at the conference, please contact Scott Van Alstyne via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 204-989-9305.

Board of Directors Nominations Now Open
CAAR is now accepting nominations for its 2022-23 Board of Directors which will be confirmed during our AGM—date and time to be announced. Lending your time and expertise to the CAAR Board gives you an active and rewarding role in shaping your industry. For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to nominate yourself or a colleague.

The 2022 CAAR Awards - Nominations Are Now Open
The CAAR Awards highlight the achievements and dedication of CAAR members who serve their community and the ag retail industry. The awards celebrate excellence in various areas of retail management, agronomy, 4R nutrient stewardship, and lifetime achievements. The categories for the CAAR Awards are: Agronomist of the Year; Retailer of the Year; 4R Nutrient Stewardship Agri-Retailer Award; and the Retailer Hall of Fame. For more information about award nominating, contact Lady Gabilo at 204-989-9304, by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit
www.caar.org/caar-conference/caar-honour-roll.

2021 – 22 CAAR Membership
CAAR would like to thank all members who have already paid their membership fees for 2021-22. We would also like to welcome new CAAR Members, Farms.com and Arva Grain Corp. CAAR is the only national association representing the interests of and addressing critical issues facing ag retailers today and is entrenched in the issues that impact your business—making a difference for our ag retailer and supplier members.


If you have not yet renewed your membership, payment can be made online or by cheque, sent to the CAAR office. For more details about CAAR membership contact Scott Van Alstyne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 204-989-9305.

Province of Manitoba Engagement Session
CAAR staff participated in an Engagement Session for Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture. The object was to provide input and support of Manitoba’s preparation for the Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture July meeting.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
The CAAR Advocacy Committee initiated a direct meeting to better understand and provide retailer perspective to Potential Over-Formulation of N [Nitrogen] and P [Phosphorus] in Fertilizers sold or imported into Canada. CFIA has identified instances of over-formulation of product nutrients identified. The Committee reached out to better understand the rational and support the confirmation and breadth of the potential issue. CAAR Committee members will participate in the CFIA working group providing retail industry’s input to inform the environmental safety assessment and any ensuing risk management options that are deemed necessary.

Rural Broadband with the University of Guelph
CAAR is working on the Regional and Rural Broadband (R2B2) project from the University of Guelph. We are reviewing its mandate and determining how CAAR can support the Canadian Centre of Excellence in Broadband Data Analytics.

Fertilizer Canada and CAAR Interaction
The two groups are working on a Liquid Storage Working Group and a 4R Working Group – Prairie and Ontario CCA board engagement. The groups are ensuring proper alignment of communications and advocacy support, and positioning 4R fertilizer management principles to address GHG’s from farm field applications.

CAAR Training Committee
Committee is working on the development of alternative training solutions (due to COVID-19 constraints), supporting continuing education and certification associated to ammonia handling.

Cereals Canada MRL Assessment Committee
This meeting assessed the trade risks for pest control products of interest proposed for use in the 2022 growing season as per the Canada Grains Council Domestic Use Policy. Another meeting of the committee will be organized in December 2021 to review additional pest control products.

CAAR Communicator: Alarm Bells are Ringing

An announcement by the Government of Canada of a delay in changing glyphosate MRLs and its new financial investment in PMRA has the agricultural community worried of a new slippery slope—politics.

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Banner for The New Clean Fuel Standard
The New Clean Fuel Standard - How does it impact agriculture?

Soon to be part of our landscape to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Canadian Fuel Standard will affect every Canadian on the grid. CAAR provides information on how it came to be, and how it will work.

It’s coming soon, and we know you’ve at least heard of it.

Canada’s new performance-based Clean Fuel Standard will be part of the Canadian backdrop beginning sometime in late 2021, and, as such, it will affect farms and agri-businesses in different ways when reduction requirements come into force December 1, 2022.

That doesn’t leave a lot of time between now and then to adjust the way your business currently operates—so if you haven’t already started, you might as well do so now.
The Federal Government has stated that greenhouse gases (GHG)—carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), perfluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)—are the main contributors to climate change, with the largest sources of GHG emissions in Canada derived from the extraction, processing and combustion of fossil fuels.

For the Canadian agriculture industry, it impacts everything from home and facility heating, to tractors, harvesters, ATV/UTVs, plows, harrows, spreaders, seeders, balers—you get it. This proposed Clean Fuel Standard affects farms, farmers, and of course, the agri-retail segment.

 

How Does This Affect Me? 

As presented in December of 2020, the proposed Clean Fuel Standard requires primary liquid fossil fuel suppliers—both producers and importers—to reduce the carbon intensity of the fuel produced and imported into Canada from the 2016 levels by 2.4 gCO2e/MJ (2.4 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule) by the year 2022 and to increase the reduction requirement to 12 gCO2e/MJ in 2030.

This is a decrease in carbon intensity by about 13 percent from 2016 levels, or a reduction of nearly 21 megatonnes of carbon emissions.

For reference, according to the Government of Canada: in 1991 our GHG emissions were at a low of 596 megatonnes, but as of 2019 the national emissions rate was at 730 megatonnes.
The agriculture sector is responsible for approximately eight percent of that GHG emissions increase, per estimates within the Environment and Climate Change Canada, National Inventory Report 1990-2019: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada.

The new Clean Fuel Standard will incentivize low carbon fuel uptake, end-use fuel switching in transportation, and process improvements in the oil and gas sector. The end-result—hopefully—is the creation, development and adoption of cleaner fuels and more energy-efficient technologies and processes.

One such business, held up as an example by the Canadian government, is Greenfield Global, the nation’s leading producer of low-carbon ethanol, operating four ethanol distilleries in Ontario and Quebec, including a biorefinery in Varennes, Quebec. It also operates five specialty chemical manufacturing and packaging plants in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Each year, Greenfield produces about 200 million litres of renewable, low-carbon ethanol fuel at its biorefinery in Varennes.

Ethanol is a high-octane, economical, clean-burning fuel made from starch-based crops. Anyone who has ever filled up at the gas station knows that most gasoline sold in Canada already contains some ethanol, added to reduce air pollution and lower GHG emissions compared to the previous fossil fuel mix.

The higher the ethanol blend in gasoline, the larger the carbon reductions, and the lower our greenhouse gas emissions will be.

The proposed Clean Fuel Standard will allow renewable fuel producers such as Greenfield to generate credits based on the carbon reductions its fuels create. These credits can be sold to fossil fuel suppliers to help meet its own compliance obligations.

But At What Cost?

In case you were wondering, the Clean Fuel Standard will end up costing the people of Canada more money.

Specifically, there’s no way to tell you exactly how much more everything will cost.

A guesstimate suggests that we can expect the Clean Fuel Standard to increase the cost of a litre of gas by some 11-cents over the next decade—but hands up if you knew that was going to happen regardless of the new regulation. Be it taxes, production costs, or supply and demand, fuel will be increasingly more expensive.

A break-even analysis done in 2016 compared the societal cost per tonne of the proposed regulations to the departmental value of the social cost of carbon (SCC), along with updates to it.
The updated estimates of the SCC were found to exceed the estimated societal cost per tonne of the proposed regulations, ergo it is believed that the monetized benefits would exceed its costs.

The Clean Fuel Standard will, it is supposed, also increase production costs for primary suppliers, which in turn would increase prices for liquid fuel consumers (households and industry users).

However, credit revenues would decrease the costs of production for low-carbon energy suppliers, making low carbon energy sources such as biofuel and electricity, less expensive in comparison.

It is hoped that these price effects may lead to a decreased end-user demand of fossil fuels and increase end-use demand for lower carbon energy sources that would reduce Canada’s GHG emissions.

The proposed Clean Fuel Standard was estimated to result in annualized net administrative cost increases of about $350,100 for fossil fuel producers and importers, while annualized administrative cost savings for renewable fuel producers and importers are estimated at $55,200. The total net annualized administrative cost increases are estimated at $294,900 for all stakeholders.

How much it may cost agri-retailers and or farmers in the long-term is still unknown at this time.

Related Articles

  • CAAR Communicator: Alarm Bells are Ringing An announcement by the Government of Canada of a delay in changing glyphosate MRLs and its new financial investment in PMRA has the agricultural community worried of a new slippery slope—politics. There’s somethin...
  • CAAR Communicator: The Power of Technology New study shows how advanced technology farming can provide environmental and financial benefits. Despite being the world’s oldest profession—all jokes aside—farming has come a long way since mankind stopped forag...
  • Agroecology: Who's definition is it? Despite being the trendy buzzword in agriculture, agroecology is defined differently by country and organization. Even Canada has multiple visions. Agriculture impacts everyone on the planet, even if most of its d...
  • It is Time to Stop the Fear Mongering Growing with marketing campaigns of agriculture food products in Canada and internationally is the increased utilization of fear as a marketing weapon. Statements of non-GMO, grass fed only, organic and antibiotic-fr...

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