The CAAR Communicator

October Issue – See All


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 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

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, 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.

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.

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.

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 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?

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Banner for Nutrien’s Evolving Culture of Care

Jeremy Mollet, who works for the Safety, Health, and Environmental Leadership Team at Nutrien shared an overview of Nutrien’s culture, areas of focus, and significant actions relating to safety at the 2021 Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers Conference in February.

Nutrien is a fertilizer company based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It is the largest producer of potash and the third largest producer of nitrogen fertilizer in the world. Nutrien’s culture is centered around four pillars:

  1. Lead
  2. Challenge
  3. Collaborate
  4. Trust

Nutrien leads by considering the impact the company has on employees, contractors, partners, the community, the industry, and anyone associated with the company. Obtaining a shared culture is important to connect throughout the organization and maintain the flexibility to have different execution, different experience, and different business units operating differently. Empowering employees to speak up and look for opportunities at work and at home sets up a strong baseline for psychological safety.

Nutrien challenges themselves by making an effort make the business sustainable. This goes beyond short-term impacts, as Nutrien expects the company to operate responsibly and sustainably for generations to come. The company constantly reflects on if certain operations are truly the best way to do things, putting an emphasis on safety. Nutrien has full executive support to stop work to reevaluate operations that could be improved and gain clarity from a safety standpoint..

Nutrien collaborates with employees to enable organization members to have the opportunity to share, grow, change teams, and elevate themselves within the enterprise. Nutrien strives to create an inclusive environment in which every opinion, experience, and voice is heard and respected.

Nutrien builds their culture of shared values and safety by trusting each other and their partners. The company also gladly extends their resources and knowledges to anyone beyond their company, including family, friends, communities, and other members of the industry.

“Part of this final pillar around trust is we also ask ourselves: ‘Do we feel like we have a safe platform? Do we feel psychologically safe to stop work, or to have our opinions heard? Do we actively promote Nutrien and have pride in our organization? And would we want our friends and family to work here?’” Jeremy admitted that these are sometimes tough questions.

<p“We also understand that we make mistakes, and its well-acknowledged across our enterprise that we will make mistakes, but we do also acknowledge that we’re going to gain value from the learnings,” continued Jeremy. “So we have to create that safe environment where feedback is valued, recognition is frequent, its safe to speak and stop work when necessary, and we’re going to take these avenues as learnings, and we’re going to integrate them into best practices going forward.

Nutrien has multiple different business units that have different risks, cultures, priorities, locations, experience levels, etc. However, the company has safety, health, environment, process safety, and product stewardship teams across all these areas that provide central support, integration, and connections across different facets of the enterprise. An important distinction is that these teams aren’t meant to dictate, but to provide support to the organization and its members.


Eliminating serious injury and fatality

A significant focus for Nutrien is taking action to eliminate serious injury and fatality, mental health, and technology and innovation.

Nutrien’s nitrogen phosphate transportation and distribution business put forward over 300 leading actions to eliminate serious injury and fatality in 2020. These actions are also shared with others across the business to obtain learnings that would mitigate and eliminate risk in other facets of the business.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Nutrien provided support, PPE, and wellness. The company is very transparent in communicating how the business is essential and how the business will operate in these times. Productivity during the pandemic was almost identical to before the pandemic, and mass lay-offs were not required.


Mental Health

Nutrien has provided events, training, and campaigns in support of mental health and wellness. The company puts an emphasis on its individuals, ensuring they take the time to evaluate their own mental and physical safety.

During the pandemic, Nutrien introduced Triax badges to keep up with contact tracing and to keep employees informed about how long they were in close proximity to others.

Another innovation by Nutrien was to use drones to gauge the company’s impact on the environment. Nutrien uses drones for inspection for elevated areas, as well as to go underwater to inspect inlets to pumps, reducing the need to put employees at risk for these tasks.

Jeremy Mollet concluded his presentation by saying he hoped conference attendees gained some insight into Nutrien’s safety culture. “Its never a recipe or prescription for everyone, but we feel if are looking at these common pillars as our foundation, and providing the flexibility that we’re going to be able to evolve our company, we’re going to come together as an integrated team and enable that look for our operations to find out what is possible, take advantage of all the innovation, whether its technology or social.”

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