Flax Council of Canada joins up with Canola Council

The Flax Council of Canada closed its office on Jan. 31, 2018. Photo: File

Winnipeg | CNS Canada – The Flax Council of Canada has announced a new operating structure; restructuring its board and joining forces with the Canola Council of Canada. The move comes six months after the council shuttered its Winnipeg office and reduced its services.

“It’s clear that Canadian flax has tremendous potential, both on the farm and in the marketplace,” said Flax Council chair Erwin Hanley in a news release. “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, 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, according to the release.

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 of the Flax Council.

“It makes sense to share our expertise and infrastructure because we share many members, supporters, goals and challenges,” said Canola Council president, Jim Everson, in the news release. “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

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