Western Canadian farmers benefit from eco-labeling of habitat-friendly Canadian winter wheat

Among the producers participating in the program is Wade Gray, located northwest of Moose Jaw.

With the growing desire of consumers to make informed and sustainable choices, Canadian agriculture is now launching a habitat-friendly Western Canadian winter wheat eco-labeling program.

The ecolabel program will identify habitat-friendly winter wheat products to help consumers identify environmentally friendly products that support ducks, birds and other wildlife.

“To meet growing consumer demand for sustainable products, food processors can become certified to showcase their use of western Canadian winter wheat and the resulting contributions to wildlife habitat. Meadows. By working together to highlight this story of sustainability, we open up new marketing opportunities for businesses and farmers while ultimately supporting a positive impact on our environment, ”said Daniel Ramage, Director of Access markets and trade policy at Cereals Canada.

Together, Cereals Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Prairie Winter Wheat Growers and end users, such as millers and food processors, are embracing this collaborative model.

The program, which began in November, helps consumers identify food and beverage products that are made with western Canadian winter wheat. As part of their commitment to sustainability, farmers grow winter wheat to support nesting habitats while obtaining valuable benefits for themselves and for the farm. Ducks, birds and other wildlife will greatly benefit from the habitats created.

In the spring, thousands of ducks and geese migrate across the Prairie region in search of nesting sites. Researchers found that ducks nesting in winter wheat are 24 times more likely to be successful than ducks nesting in spring-sown grain.

According to the Habitat Friendly Winter Wheat Organization, western Canadian winter wheat offers a variety of agronomic benefits on the farm, including improved soil health, reduced tillage, high crop productivity, crops and more efficient use of agricultural inputs.

Wade Gray, grain farmer from Moose Jaw, says, “Another environmental benefit is that winter wheat doesn’t use as many herbicides or chemicals.

“Often the harvest is ahead of the weeds in the spring, you are much less likely to get ear blight caused by Fusarium, which is a disease, and there is very little risk of blight. corn. ”

Through the labeling initiative, Canadian food brands will also differentiate themselves in a competitive market and provide consumers with sustainable products in high demand.

In studies conducted by program partners, it has been shown that one in three Canadians would choose eco-labeled products.

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