Canadian eastern wheat class modernization

Consultation period: March 20 to May 20, 2017

Consultation period ended

The consultation regarding a proposal to develop a Canada Eastern Special Purpose wheat class ended on May 20, 2017. We thank all of those who gave us their comments.

Stakeholder feedback

This is a summary of written comments the Canadian Grain Commission received from stakeholders during the consultation period.

The document below is provided for reference purposes only.

About the Canadian Grain Commission

The Canadian Grain Commission is a federal agency. We administer and enforce the Canada Grain Act and the Canada Grain Regulations.

Under the Act and Regulations, we establish and maintain Canada’s grain quality standards. We also regulate the grain industry to protect producers’ rights and to ensure the integrity of grain transactions.

Our programs ensure shipments of Canadian grain are of a consistent quality, safety and quantity and are able to meet the specifications of customers.

1. Objective of consultation

Canada’s wheat classes are a critical part of the grain quality assurance system. As a follow-up to changes made to the Canadian wheat class system launched in 2016, and in response to stakeholder requests for more flexibility in Canada’s eastern wheat classes, the Canadian Grain Commission is proposing to introduce a new eastern wheat class.

The proposal will:

  • add a new wheat class to address requests from eastern stakeholders for innovative alternatives to meet evolving wheat markets
  • ensure that eastern wheat classes continue to meet Canada’s wheat production, handling, marketing, processing and export needs
  • provide the appropriate marketing framework for maximizing returns throughout the entire value chain into the future

We are seeking feedback from wheat industry stakeholders including grain handlers, processors, marketers, breeders, and producers.

2. Purpose of consultation document

This document explains:

  • details of the proposed new eastern wheat class
  • how to submit input
  • what happens after the consultation is concluded

3. Background

Wheat classification

The Canadian Grain Commission establishes eastern wheat classes through extensive consultation with end-users, breeders, marketers and other stakeholders within the value chain. Each class has its own set of performance characteristics that are primarily based on functional, or end-use, characteristics. For each class, quality and performance parameters are set by a group of industry experts who represent all aspects of the wheat value chain. New varieties being considered for registration are assessed against specific benchmarks to determine each new variety’s appropriateness for a particular class. The wheat classification system is a critical part of Canada’s grain quality assurance system and works to support the Canada Brand internationally. Annex 1 provides a list and description of the current eastern Canadian wheat classes.

As Canada’s grain quality assurance agency, we have the authority under the Canada Grain Act to designate varieties to a specific class. When a variety of wheat is registered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Canadian Grain Commission designates the new variety to a specific class of wheat.

For each Canadian wheat class, the Canadian Grain Commission maintains a variety designation list. These lists:

  • identify which varieties are eligible for each class based on end-use functionality characteristics of each variety
  • prevent ineligible varieties from undermining the quality of grain shipments, thus avoiding potential issues with end-users
  • reduce transaction costs and facilitate the efficient trade and handling of bulk commodities

We update the designation lists as new varieties are registered in Canada or as the registration status of existing varieties is changed.

2016 wheat class modernization plan

In response to requests from the wheat value chain, we initiated consultations to modernize Canada’s wheat classes to reflect evolving needs in early 2015. Based on feedback from extensive consultations with both domestic and international wheat value chain stakeholders, the Canadian Grain Commission implemented its wheat class modernization plan as of August 1, 2016.

The plan was designed to:

  • support Canada’s wheat production, handling, marketing, processing and export needs
  • provide a balanced solution for stakeholders while supporting future marketability for the entire value chain
  • provide clarity and efficiency to the variety registration testing requirements

The main focus of the wheat class modernization plan was to ensure the quality and consistency of the Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat class and to address and improve the consistency of the Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat class. To date, the steps taken in the wheat class modernization plan have been well received by both the domestic and international marketplace. Canadian plant breeders and crop life developers have also voiced support as it provides them with additional opportunities to benefit from new wheat classes and emerging markets.

Although the initial 2015 wheat class modernization consultation addressed both western and eastern wheat classes, feedback received from eastern Canadian stakeholders indicated that the eastern wheat classes were appropriate for their needs at that time. It was determined that no changes would be proposed to eastern wheat classes until further discussion with stakeholders in eastern Canada could occur.

A number of wheat varieties currently being brought forward for registration do not meet the quality criteria for the existing eastern wheat classes. However, there are market opportunities for these varieties which do not meet current wheat class criteria but exhibit special or unique characteristics. Some eastern stakeholders believe it is an opportune time to introduce a wheat class in eastern Canada that is similar to the Canadian Western Special Purpose (CWSP) wheat class. This class would reflect the opportunities for varieties grown in eastern Canada that could capture valuable emerging markets.

4. Proposal for stakeholder input

We are proposing to develop a Canada Eastern Special Purpose (CESP) wheat class. This class would:

  • have no quality parameters
  • require disease and agronomic data
  • include varieties that do not fit within the parameters of any other Canadian eastern wheat classes

Development of a Canada Eastern Special Purpose wheat class would ensure all registered varieties can be assigned to a class and receive a statutory Canadian grain grade. The proposed Canada Eastern Special Purpose wheat class would also ensure that eastern wheat classes continue to meet the needs of producers and support future market opportunities.

Implementation of the proposed Canada Eastern Special Purpose wheat class would be planned for July 1, 2018.

5. How to submit your input

Your organization is invited to submit input in writing between March 20, 2017 and midnight on May 20, 2017 to be considered within this process. Input may be written in English or French.

You may provide your input by:

  • email
  • fax to 204-983-2751
  • post mail

Input submitted by post mail should be sent to the following address. Please include a return address.

Eastern Wheat Class Modernization
Canadian Grain Commission
600-303 Main Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3G8

The following information is recommended when submitting your input:

  • your full name
  • your phone number
  • your complete mailing address
  • your email address
  • how the proposal affects your interests, or those of the group you represent
  • any additional information that is relevant

This document is also available on our website and the Consulting with Canadians website. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Thank you in advance for your contribution.

6. Steps after the consultation

We will consider all input and make necessary amendments to this proposal based on stakeholder feedback. Implementation of a Canada Eastern Special Purpose wheat class is proposed for July 1, 2018. Implementation or timelines may change if major stakeholder concerns or constraints are encountered. Stakeholders will be kept informed of developments.

The transition period and implementation of changes will be carefully managed as the wheat sector will need time to adjust. Time will be needed to modify the Canada Grain Regulations, the Official Grain Grading Guide, procedures of the Ontario Cereal Crop Committee, producer seeding plans, marketing plans and sales contracts of grain companies, breeding programs, and commercial seed developers’ strategies.

Annex 1: Eastern Canadian wheat classes

Table 1: The ten classes of eastern Canadian wheat
Class Characteristics
Canada Eastern Red (CER) Any registered variety of red wheat. There are three grades in the CER class.
Canada Eastern Red Spring (CERS) Hard wheat with superior milling and baking quality used alone or in blends with other wheat for hearth bread, steamed bread, noodles, flat bread, and common wheat pasta. There are three milling grades in the CERS class.
Canada Eastern Hard Red Winter (CEHRW) Hard red wheat suitable for the production of a wide variety of products including French breads, flat breads, steamed breads, and noodles. There are three milling grades in the CEHRW class.
Canada Eastern Soft Red Winter (CESRW) Soft, low-protein wheat used for the production of cakes, pastry, cereal, crackers, biscuits and filling.
Canada Eastern Amber Durum (CEAD) Durum wheat producing a high yield of semolina with excellent pasta and couscous quality. There are three milling grades in the CEAD class.
Canada Eastern Hard White Winter (CEHWW) Hard white wheat used to make whole wheat products and Asian noodles. There are three milling grades in the CEHWW class.
Canada Eastern White Winter (CEWW) Soft, low-protein wheat used for the production of cakes, pastry, cereal, crackers, biscuits and filling.
Canada Eastern Soft White Spring (CESWS) Soft wheat of low protein content for production of cookies, cakes and pastry, as well as various types of flat breads, noodles, steamed breads and chapatis. There are three milling grades in the CESWS class.
Canada Eastern Hard White Spring (CEHWS) Hard white wheat with superior milling quality producing flour with excellent colour suitable for bread and noodle production. There are three milling grades in the CEHWS class.
Canada Eastern Feed (CE Feed) Any class or variety of wheat excluding amber durum.
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