Flax Industry Ready to Build on Crop’s Potential
August 1, 2018 – The Flax Council of Canada today announced a new operating structure that will deliver the services industry members need to move forward with greater confidence.
“It’s clear that Canadian flax has tremendous potential, both on the farm and in the marketplace,” said Flax Council chair Erwin Hanley. “Now we’re ready to capitalize on that potential. After a period of some uncertainty, we’re well-positioned to become the next high-value addition to the Canadian farmer’s rotation.”
Under the new structure, services to the flax industry will be provided through partnerships with like-minded organizations.
The Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission (SaskFlax) and Manitoba Flax Growers Association will support flax agronomy and research, including the flax breeding program at the Crop Development Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Michelle Beaith was recently hired by SaskFlax to lead research and agronomic programs for the industry.
Market development, market access and government relations services will be provided to the Flax Council on a cost-recovery basis by the Canola Council of Canada. The arrangement will provide access to professional staff and worldwide connections, while enabling the Canola Council to generate more value from the strengths the organization has developed over the past 52 years.
“It makes sense to share our expertise and infrastructure because we share many members, supporters, goals and challenges,” said Canola Council president, Jim Everson. “Working together, we can get more mileage out of every trade visit and can speak with a stronger voice when we tackle issues of mutual concern.”
The Flax Council’s Executive Committee will set the direction for policy and programs, considering the best interests of all those with a stake in the future of Canadian flax, from growers to processors.
The new Flax Council Executive Committee consists of:
- Erwin Hanley, director at large and chair
- Eric Fridfinnson, representing the Manitoba Flax Growers Association
- Bo Hallborg of Viterra, vice chair
- Brian Johnson of Johnson Seeds, past chair
Hanley said the new structure and board mark a new beginning for the Flax Council. “Now we can count on a stable, long-term future with all of the ingredients for success, including a reliable flax breeding program, agronomic support, professional marketing and a strong, united voice,” he said. “It’s an exciting time for Canadian flax.”
Media may contact:
Erwin Hanley, Chair
Flax Council of Canada