Cultivating Value-Added Marketing Opportunities
| Date: 15/12/2016
As part of its overall commitment to sustainability, encourages its farm customers to grow canola sustainably through its Sustainable Canola Contract Program. Viterra’s program is designed to align with the , which was established in 2010. The RED requires that all biofuel produced or imported into the EU is made from crops that are sustainably produced. And with aggressive targets set for member states – aiming for the EU to reach a 20 per cent share of energy from renewable sources by 2020 – Canadian canola farmers have the opportunity to benefit from access to this market.
“We place a high priority on connecting our growers to marketing opportunities around the world,” says Chad Molesky, Viterra’s Merchandising Manager. “With significant growth projected in the demand for renewable energy in the EU by 2020, we’ve taken the steps necessary to allow our producers to capture this opportunity with their canola crops and remain competitive with other exporting countries.”
Recently, specially designated Viterra grain handling facilities that ship canola to biofuel markets in Europe have been certified sustainable. These facilities are certified to the . The ISCC scheme meets the requirements of the EU in the RED for the production and handling of sustainable biomass.
Viterra’s program also aims to help growers become certified sustainable, working with them to ensure they meet the necessary guidelines outlined by the RED.
“Viterra’s involvement in sustainable markets is important not only to my farm, but to all producers,” says Dave Mazier, owner of Good Earth Farms Ltd. in Brandon, Manitoba, who was the first producer to enroll in the program. “The company has demonstrated that they are committed to long-term growth in this area by offering local support to producers and committing to ISCC under the EU’s RED program.”
The criteria under the program include proof that the crops were produced in an environmentally sound way, using ethical farming and management practices, such as:
- Tracking of all crops grown by field for all owned, rented, and leased land
- Copies of land title records and maps for each field owned
- Detailed field records for all crops grown on the land
- Spraying records and harvesting data
- Delivery receipts for each sustainable crop delivered to a delivery point
To further ensure the integrity of the program, it is routinely evaluated and verified through third-party audits.
“This program is a great example of working with our stakeholders to ensure a positive outcome,” says Molesky. “By having close relationships with our farmers and end use customers, we’re in an ideal position to keep Canadian canola moving to areas of need and maintain our reputation as a reliable supplier.”