If there was one thing that stood out during the creation of this magazine, it was that significant changes are currently underway across agriculture and ag retail. Both feature stories in this issue have themes of innovation, evolution and change.
The channels and means by which ag retailers connect and do business with their customers in an increasingly digital world are changing and evolving, with retailers of all sizes beginning to offer online services to customers.
As well, innovative tools and equipment are in development to help growers battle weeds while they face additional challenges like herbicide resistance and increased public scrutiny. In all sectors of agriculture, innovative strategies, evolving outlooks and changing practices are prevailing.
In the three years I have been working with CAAR, I’ve witnessed change myself as regulations, standards and practices have been revised and affected retailers even in a relatively short amount of time.
Through enlightening conversations with CAAR’s retail and supplier members during interviews and events, including the CAAR Conference, I’ve learned that ag retailers are not the sort to put their heads in the sand when change comes knocking.
Ag retailers are in a unique position in the value chain, one in which they both have to understand what a change in the businesses landscape means for their own company and employees, and then also help their grower customers to understand and embrace the change at the farm level.
The theme of CAAR’s upcoming 25th anniversary conference, “Embracing Innovation,” couldn’t be more perfectly timed as ag retailers help their customers navigate the current wave of industry changes, making adaptations to their own businesses along the way.
I hope all of our readers will join CAAR’s staff and board in Saskatoon from Feb. 11–13, 2020 to celebrate the progress Canadian ag retail has made in the past 25 years, and to welcome the next 25 years of innovation.
You can learn more about the events and speakers that are currently confirmed for the 2020 CAAR Conference by flipping to the Conference Registration Guide included at the centre of this magazine. Conference registration opens on October 14 and you can register online by visiting caar.org/caar-conference.
Until then, happy reading.
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