Your focus is on your business, where it should be. Our focus is protecting your business, and building tools to help.
Advocating on behalf of the retail industry is one of the most critical, and historically perhaps least visible, services we offer our membership. Success in our advocacy efforts is often measured by ensuring our retailer members see no impact on their business.
However, there are many issues, events, committees and roundtables in which CAAR participates on your behalf. Below is an overview of the issues that we are actively pursuing.
Issues Impacting Retailers:
Ammonia Code of Practice
CAAR worked closely with Fertilizer Canada over the past year in development of a new release of the Code. Following detailed feedback regarding the proposed changes to the Code, CAAR identified the need to improve the representation of agri-retailers on the Fertilizer Safety and Security Council, and the Ammonia Code Technical Committee. Following significant discussion on several areas CAAR and other retailers flagged as concerns, CAAR joined the supporters of the new version of the Code, which will come into effect January 1, 2017.
On The Web:
CAAR continues to work close with Fertilizer Canada reviewing the content of the Code with the shared goal of continuous improvement of ammonia safe handling and storage. Several items remain to be discussed, and are expected to be incorporated by addendum as they are resolved.
Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs)
The issue of pesticide products that are registered in Canada, but not accepted in certain trade markets, can limit a growers’ grain marketing options. While the challenge of maintaining trade markets may seem removed for retailers not in the grain business, it is becoming a significant concern that will need to be top of mind for farmers and retailers planning for the growing season. A new national MRL Steering Committee brings together many throughout the food chain to proactively develop a national policy and methodology to manage the use of products with limited international acceptance. This policy is intended to be a voluntary industry approach to managing potential trade disruption. The rest of the value chain clearly recognizes the importance of agri-retailers as trusted advisors to growers on these matters.
CAAR is proud to represent retailers on this steering committee, and has invited member representatives to join us in this important initiative.
On The Web:
More information on the issue of MRLs is offered by Cereals Canada through their Keep It Clean campaign: http://www.cerealscanada.ca/keep-it-clean/.
CAAR attended the first steering committee meeting on November 29, 2016, in Ottawa, ON, participating in the first step towards the development of a national MRL policy. The policy is intended to be finalized by mid-2017 for implementation in the 2018 growing season. The meeting was a productive dialogue among grower groups, retailers, product developers, and grain handlers/exporters.The next meeting is anticipated at the end of January 2017.
Canadian Field Print Initiative
CAAR has participated in meetings discussing the ongoing development of the Canadian Field Print calculator: a tool developed in partnership with stakeholders across the value chain to meet the end users’ desire to measure how sustainably a crop is produced. CAAR believes tools like the CFPI that will be promoted to farmers or required by end users to prove sustainability are important to be shared among retailers, to enable them to support their customers to meet these news end user requirements.
On The Web:
Access to the calculator, the 2014 Fertilizer Use Survey, and a series of National Sustainability Reports are available at http://fieldprint.ca/
The calculator is being migrated to a cloud-based server, and discussions are in progress regarding the next steps for the program. Growing Forward 2 funding winds down in 2017.
Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops
The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC) was formed in 2013 to facilitate cross-commodity collaboration on sustainable agriculture issues and opportunities facing grains sector participants. Deliverables include a Sustainability Metrics Platform, Assurance Protocol, AgroEcosystem Project and Seeking Synergies.
On The Web:
More information about the CRSC is available online at http://sustainablecrops.ca/.
CAAR attended its first CRSC meetings in 2016 and is seeking ways to engage members in this important sustainability working group. CAAR will continue to track and share the projects under development through the CRSC as they progress.
Proposed text for the revised Environmental Emergency Regulations 2016 have been published in the Canada Gazette, Part 1, and are open for public comment until December 7, 2016. The revisions include new reporting requirements, including required communications with the public, as well as a new requirement to exercise at least one component of the plan every year, with the full plan exercised every five years.
On The Web:
Details regarding the invitation to comment and the proposed text are found at https://www.ec.gc.ca/ee-ue/default.asp?lang=En&n=B2B4A2B2-1
CAAR is working with its counterparts in the industry to develop a consistent response to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, and will share that position once completed. However, all agri-retailers are strongly encouraged to provide their own comments.
Sections that may be of particular importance to agri-retailers include:
• the notifications and new periodic reports defined in Sections 3, 4, 13 and 14;
• a new requirement to communicate with the public, described in Section 4 (2)(i);
• a new requirement in Section 7 to exercise environmental emergency plans in full every five years, with at least one component exercised every year.
All comments must cite in the subject header, “Comments - Canada Gazette, Part I – Environmental Emergency Regulations, 2016” and be sent to:
Lo Cheng, Director, Environmental Emergencies Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St. Joseph Blvd., 16th Floor, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3
All comments must be submitted by December 7, 2016.
TDG Part 8
New reporting requirements from Transport Canada under Part 8 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations are effective December 1, 2016, and all agri-retailers that are handling, transporting, or offering for transport any dangerous good must familiarize themselves with their reporting requirements under the revised Part 8 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations to ensure they remain compliant.
On the Web:
The full wording of the Regulations is available at https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-tofc-211.htm
Transport Canada offers an overview of the new reporting requirements under Part 8 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations online at https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-part8-379.htm
To read the changes in full, visit http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2016/2016-06-01/html/sor-dors95-eng.php
TDG Part 6
In April 2016 CAAR was among the industry stakeholders consulted regarding potential standardization of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods training requirements under Part 6 of the TDG regulations. Topics for review included developing a framework for a modern TDG Training Regime, competency based training and assessment, standardized tests, and certification and accreditation.
On The Web:
The current regulatory text for Part 6 of the TDG Regulations is found at https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-part6-121.htm. Transport Canada has also published more detail in a training bulletin found at https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/publications-cladvisory-advol1enew-267.htm
CAAR expects to receive notification from Transport Canada as proposed changes to the regulatory text are brought forward as a result of the consultations earlier this year. CAAR will advise members of their opportunity to provide comment during this process, and will continue to track developments as they arise. No timeline has been put forward by Transport Canada at this time.
B620 and B622
In January 2016, CAAR identified concerning changes in the 2014 versions of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B620 and B622 standards that govern anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks. Among the changes to these standards, which are published but not yet in force, include changes to the testing cycle for nurse tanks that increases pressure testing to a three year cycle from every five years, and annual visual inspections from every two to three years. CAAR believes this will have a detrimental impact on the retail industry and the integrity of tanks subjected to this increased testing, and collaborated with Fertilizer Canada and several retailers to present these concerns in May 2016. CAAR has been tasked with working through a B620 subgroup to develop a docket clearly stating industry objections to the changes and proposing a solution.
On The Web:
More information about the B620 standard, as well as B622 and other standards impacting the agriculture industry, is available online at https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/moc-highway-csab620-472.html
CAAR is working closely with Fertilizer Canada and industry members to prepare a docket for presentation at the CSA B620 Committee Meeting in January 2017.
Operation Ag Careers
Operation Ag Careers is a partnership with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers (CAAR) to assist the transition of Canada’s veterans and retiring military service people into careers in the agriculture industry. CAAR works closely with program sponsors Richardson International, Federated Cooperatives Ltd., and Parrish & Heimbecker, as well as an agri-retail advisory group to develop the program.
On The Web:
More information about the Operation Ag Careers program is available at http://caar.org/resources/operation-ag-careers.
CAAR is working closely with sponsors, industry advisors and military contacts to develop a strategy for the direction of the program over the next two to three years. CAAR will share more information with members as the strategy is finalized and opportunities to participate in this important initiative are developed.
The Canadian Journey to Public Trust Forum
Beginning in October 2015, CAAR joined with other industry stakeholders from across the value chain and all aspects of agriculture to explore the issue of declining public trust in agriculture. Structured as a series of working groups, the Journey confirmed that building public trust is much more than simply conveying messages of industry activities to consumers; it requires the demonstration of tangible practices and actions that earn the desired trust.
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