Canadian Canola Growers Association

Time for Change: Reviewing the Canada Grain Act

January 28, 2021Hub Article

​​​​​​​​It has been over 40 years since the Canada Grain Act was last opened for review and updated. In fact, the canola processing sector did not even exist when the Act was last overhauled. The way we farm has changed and so has the way we market and handle grain. Updates to the Act are essential to reflect the changes of the last 40 years, as well as advances coming in the future.

How it affects farmers

Most farmers' main interaction with the Canada Grain Act happens at the time they deliver grain to a buyer. The Act lays out the details for grading standards, as well as various producer protections, such as the right to observe the sampling and dockage process and the right to dispute grade at delivery (known as Subject to Inspector's Grade and Dockage). The Act's primary objective is to work "in the interest of grain producers".

The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) is the federal body responsible for the Act and maintaining the quality of Canadian grain. The Commission manages grain buyer licensing, provides for producer payment security, plays an important research and data function role, and ensures overall export quality (to name a few).

Since 2013, the CGC has been largely funded by farmers through service fees charged on grain exports and, ultimately, passed back through grain prices. Modernization of the Canada Grain Act and resulting changes at the CGC could result in more accountability, transparency, and cost savings to farmers.

Farmer input essential to the review

The government is asking for comments on what to include in its review. The consultation provides an important opportunity for farmers to help define the gold standard for the future of the Act and the grain quality system, including discussions about:

  1. Disputing your grain grade;
  2. Producer payment protection;
  3. Licensing of grain buyers;
  4. CGC's role in outward inspection and weighing;
  5. Other, such as governance, data collection, and the Act's objective.

CCGA is working with our members and other stakeholders to develop a farmer-led response to the government consultation and we want to hear from you! For example, how can the process to dispute your grade and dockage be changed to better reflect today's delivery practices and broader quality requirements? Or, how can the producer payment program be improved?

If you have thoughts on these questions or other ways to improve the Canada Grain Act, please email policy@ccga.ca.​​​