CAAR’s Board of Directors has recently completed a strategic planning session, resulting in a long-term, three-year strategy for the association that provides clear, constructive direction and that speaks to the goals, focus and purpose of CAAR through to 2022.
Out of the process, key trends and change drivers affecting agriculture retailers have been identified:
- Continuing environment of regulation and compliance. Consumers and government are expressing a desire for transparency and influence on agriculture production, logistics and processing. Public opinion in many instances is substantiated on emotion rather than science. Products, services and logistics legislation are under review and continue to evolve.
- Trade instability and protectionism. Canada and the United States are in the midst of NAFTA negotiations which may impact Canadian agriculture inputs both directly and indirectly.
- Increasing size and sophistication of farms in Canada. Farms are increasing in size, moving forward utilizing corporate business management and operating principles, yet retaining family structure.
Taking these drivers into account, CAAR has identified four critical areas of focus and strategic development for the association over the coming three years:
- Advocacy. It is essential CAAR strengthen its voice and have a seat at the regulation development table. Partner associations representing all aspects of agriculture production, logistics and processing have recognized the need to work together and leverage resources to the betterment of the industry. Ag retails are a critical component requiring direct representation as regulations evolve.
- Business intelligence. Ag retailing is a complex, cyclical operation, with regulatory compliance requirements as a key measure of support. CAAR’s strategy has identified the need to provide members with an ag retail metrics report, identifying trending issues and opportunities.
- Member and membership value. Increasing membership representation across Canada is paramount to CAAR’s position as “the voice of the ag retail industry.” CAAR will build its membership base through demonstrated membership value and by developing a culture of lifelong learning and continuous improvement through CAAR initiatives, supporting the achievement of a majority representation voice.
- Sustainability of the business. CAAR, ag retailers and stakeholders in all facets of the industry must continue to evolve and investigate sustainable business models providing new revenue streams of valued products and services. The ag industry will continue to be scrutinized as the general population and regulators become more disengaged with modern agriculture production.
The Canadian agriculture industry is safe, sound and responsible, and CAAR is proud to be an active and vocal partner within it, demonstrating the importance of the ag retail sector. I am confident that with the plan in place, CAAR is in an optimal position to build on its existing strength and achieve its strategic goals. I look forward to working with you as we take action on these areas of focus.
Executive Director, CAAR
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