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?

Employee Recognition: The why, how and importance!

Lack of recognition is one of the major reasons why employees quit. Employee recognition may become even more critical with the rise of teleworking.

By The Numbers

2 - The number of key ways employers can better motivate employees.

4 - This is the average percent increase in crop production gained by farmers that use
precision agriculture technology.

6.9 - The billion-dollar amount of revenues in the Canadian organic market.

12 - As in the number of grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule, the expected amount of greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 via Canada’s upcoming Clean Fuel Standard.

34,318 - The total ascent distance—in metres—CAAR Board member Blaine Cochrane has achieved while mountain climbing around the world. That is “ascent” only. He still had to climb down.

42,000,000 - The amount of money the Government of Canada recently invested in the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, raising concerns that the regulatory process has become politicalized.

65,472,516,904 - Total operating costs for all Canadian farms in 2019.

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.

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.

How European Farming Influences Canadian Farmers – whether they like it or not

The UK and EU have issues with its organic farming that threaten to eat itself. Who’s to blame and why? European standards are driving reductions in residue limits which will have major impacts on Canadian farming, so it is important to understand what is going on in Europe.

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Banner for The Value of Benchmarking Your Business

Benchmarking is the process of comparing and measuring business processes and performance metrics to industry leaders which will help the organization take action to improve its own structure.

Sam Zurawski, CMA, CPA, Senior Consultant with Backswath Management recently shared insights about the different types of benchmarking, the benchmarking process and what to benchmark, and how the concept of peer groups can benefit a retailer’s business.

Benchmarking improves performance by learning from others, and one of the easiest forms is internal benchmarking from within an organization. This process uses internal data to compare the relative performance of business units, for example a year over year comparison of net income as a percentage of sales.

Competitive benchmarking involves comparing performance with other companies from the same industry, allowing companies to highlight industry best practices. While valuable, this process is more difficult, as it is more difficult to acquire data for privately held companies, and the accuracy of data cannot be completely verified. Finally, strategic benchmarking can highlight best practices from other sectors by examining unrelated industries for factors that might not be reflected such as innovative technological advancements.

“An effective benchmarking process provides for continuous method of measuring and comparing a firm’s business performance against another firm.” Said Mr. Zurawski, “We say continuous process, because when you complete your benchmarking exercise, you may uncover a number of performance gaps. By focusing on two or three corrective measures at one time, you’ll be increasing your odds of success.”

A balanced approach to benchmarking considers four perspectives, the customer, internal business process, financial aspects, and learning and growth. A business must look at what it needs to be good at to provide products and services to customers, how to manage various stakeholders, how the organization can continue to improve, what new products and services it can offer, and what new processes must be developed to implement changes.

The benchmarking process begins with the organization deciding what to benchmark and identifying benchmarking partners, it will then gather and exchange information, analyze, and implement solutions based on the results of the benchmarking.

Peer groups can be a great way of learning from other businesses in your industry through facilitated discussions with groups of similar business owners and executives. These groups are proven to improve business performance, develop performance benchmarks, and provide additional emotional and mental benefits to employees beyond measured performance.

As a member of a peer group you can expect the emotional support of a peer network while innovatively pushing your agriculture business forward, and have fellow members push you out of your comfort zone to challenge your assumptions. Peer groups are also a source of trusted advice from fellow members with no agenda other than helping you. Being challenged, learning leadership skills, accountability, and support make peer groups popular in many verticals from automotive dealers to farm equipment dealers, even expanding to include groups relating to parts, finance, marketing, and many others.

Related Articles

  • 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...
  • Employee Recognition: The why, how and importance! Lack of recognition is one of the major reasons why employees quit. Employee recognition may become even more critical with the rise of teleworking. According to Statistics Canada, teleworking has changed best pra...
  • 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 b...

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