SaskCanola and SaskFlax have been exploring options for amalgamating the two organizations.
SaskCanola Executive Director Tracey Broughton explained it got started last fall when SaskFlax was looking for an Executive Director. The SaskCanola Board then approached the SaskFlax Board to see if there was any interest in bringing the two organizations together.
Under the plan, SaskCanola would assume the mandate of SaskFlax for flax seed and straw, including research, advocacy and market development investments, and accompanying communications.
“Flax has some unique capacity, with respect to a variety of development investment, and research projects are going to be typically a little bit different between the two crops,” she said. “For the most part there are a lot of operational efficiencies that can be gained and with a smaller crop like flax, SaskCanola can help to ensure that the administration costs are low for the crop and making sure that the maximum number of levy dollars are going toward the development of flax and the development of canola.”
At this point, Broughton said she hasn’t heard any pushback from producers, but has heard that “with smaller crops they want to make sure that their voice is maintained and heard.”
“From SaskCanola’s perspective, we certainly respect that and we just want to make sure that there’s viable crop options for all growers that work on their respective farms so we want to make sure we prioritize the needs of both crops as we have dollars to do so.” she added.
Broughton says the next step towards full amalgamation of the two Commissions is to gather feedback from canola and flax growers through online surveys which are available on the SaskCanola and SaskFlax websites.
All Saskatchewan canola and flax growers were sent a notice in the mail encouraging them to participate in the online consultation survey, which will remain open to gather their input from now until November 17.
Survey results will be shared at both Commissions’ AGMs in January.
(With files from CJGX)