OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 20, 2012) - Agriculture industry experts will work under a new mandate to continue their work on finding efficiencies and driving costs out of the entire value chain. The Crop Logistics Working Group's (CLWG) second mandate will focus on improving the performance of the supply chain for all crops, with a focus on innovation, capacity, and stakeholder collaboration.
"The economy remains a top priority and agriculture is playing a vital role as a driver of jobs and future growth," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Along with a focus on innovation, markets, and competitiveness, our government knows that logistical efficiencies can also strengthen the overall economy by ensuring that the agricultural sector can reap the rewards of a dynamic and growing global marketplace."
The CLWG provides a venue for collaboration throughout the supply chain to help improve the efficiency in how grains move from farm to customer, whether in Canada or around the globe. The CLWG will identify performance measurement gaps in grain industry supply chains and work to develop a grain logistics performance measurement framework. They will also have a mandate to find ways to build capacity and investigate how innovation can further strengthen the logistical value chain.
This renewed mandate for the CLWG is part of the Harper Government's long-term strategy to strengthen and modernize the grain industry. The Harper Government has already removed the single desk and introduced reforms for the Canadian Grain Commission, and it will be tabling legislation to improve the rail freight system. These changes will attract investment, encourage innovation, create value-added jobs, and build a stronger economy across the country. Growing Forward 2 will also continue to focus on modernizing the grain sector. The CLWG will continue to provide industry leadership on how to capture the opportunities that marketing freedom provides.
The Crop Logistics Working Group (CLWG) was established in 2011 to give the agriculture sector an opportunity to provide input into the Rail Freight Service Review implementation process, to address any logistics issues related to the grain supply change in the transition to marketing freedom, and to provide a forum for other transportation-related issues.
The transition to marketing freedom for wheat and barley crops will change grain transportation in Western Canada, and the implementation of the Rail Freight Service Review initiatives will support this transition.
On March 18, 2011, the Government announced its response to the Rail Freight Service Review, which was launched to address issues with rail freight service raised by users of the rail supply chain. The review was triggered by complaints from shippers, many from the agriculture community, regarding the declining level of service provided by railways.
The CLWG will be co-chaired by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Deputy Minister Suzanne Vinet and Gordon Bacon, the Chief Executive Officer of Pulse Canada. Details for the Group's renewed mandate are being finalized.
Over the next several months, to find efficiencies across the value chain, the CLWG will focus on the following:
- Supporting innovation in the grain handling and transportation system;
- Identifying capacity enhancements that would improve shippers' international competitiveness;
- Developing a set of performance measures and public reporting that would serve the needs of agricultural shippers;
- Providing a forum for agricultural stakeholders to exchange views and support the upcoming Transport Canada Commodity Supply Chain Table; and
- Providing a forum for agricultural stakeholders to exchange information and views on other supply chain logistics issues.