At the time of writing this article, weather continues to impact progress on a harvest that has seen its ups and downs.
2019 is a year we won’t soon forget. With the majority of the crop yet to be harvested, farmers and ag retailers continue to prevail, moving forward with the challenges they can only manage but not control. Depending on their region, these challenges include a growing season that has seen farmers and ag retailers experience drought, excess moisture from rain events, cool temperatures and heat waves, frost, snow, hail and high winds and localized instances of high insect pressure throughout the growing season. Beyond agronomic challenges, trade embargoes and tariffs threw the industry a curve ball, throwing long-term reliability of markets into flux, with instability exacerbated by logistics issues causing product shortages.
Agriculture and agri-food continue to face an uphill battle in the realm of public perception. Non-agriculture groups are continuously influencing perceptions, resulting in potential prohibitive regulations and shifts in market demand. In the coming months we will see what impact, if any, the federal election may have on these considerations of perception.
Supporting Canadian Ag Retailers
In September, CAAR’s board of directors met for two days in Winnipeg to review the priorities and focus of the association over the next 12 months.
Our meetings focused on reaching a consensus of how we can best support Canadian agri-retailers and in turn advance agriculture production with farm customers.
Advocacy, education and membership remain the key fundamentals of CAAR. Establishing and maintaining partnerships with like-minded sister associations and key associations across North America will help us capitalize on resources to mutually advance industry initiatives and strengthen the voice of agri-retailer representation with regulators.
It is critical for agri-retailers to have a seat at the table with federal, provincial and local authorities when regulations are reviewed, developed and introduced. Securing this seat has been, and continues to be, one of the top priorities for our association. Influencing current and future regulatory developments is critical to reducing bureaucracy and negative impacts to business operations and agriculture production.
CAAR remains committed to representing agri-retailers first. CAAR’s board of directors is composed of agri-retailers, suppliers, manufacturers and affiliate associations. Over time, representation gravitates from one group to another. However, during our September meetings, we reached the consensus that moving forward, we need to ensure agri-retailers are the majority group represented on the CAAR Board. The recent CAAR director appointments demonstrate our commitment to this philosophy.
I welcome our new members to the board, and wish all of our members an expedient resolution to harvest.
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