Canadian grain customers like the quality and consistency of our crops.

The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) provides customers with statements of assurance and letters of analysis.

Derek Bunkowsky,  the CGC's chief grain inspector says statements of assurance are based on cargo monitoring on all bulk vessels of grain that are leaving Canada.

"We are looking at pesticide residue levels, mycotoxin levels, as well as heavy metals. These are all very important things to customers of Canadian grain and by us doing that monitoring and showing and demonstrating that the grain is meeting the regulatory requirements of the country on all of those things, it provides the assurance that those customers are seeking."

He says statements of assurance are an integral piece that allows that transaction to take place between exporters and importers of Canadian grain.

Cereals Canada and the Canadian Grain Commission meet with Canadian grain customers regularly to discuss crop quality and performance.

The Manager of End Products for Cereals Canada, Lindsay Bourre says they share that feedback with breeders that are working on developing new varieties.

"Customers are usually very open and happy to share what is working for them when it comes to Canadian wheat, or if they're encountering any issues or have any concerns."

She notes each year staff take part in the Prairie Grain Development Committee (PGDC) meetings where new breeding lines are brought forward by breeders for testing and evaluation, with the hopes of it being recommended for registration.

Bunkowsky says the Canadian Grain Commission is also actively involved in the PGDC meetings.

"Both our grading system and our variety registration system in Canada are integral pieces that allow Canada to deliver the quality and the functionality that our customers are looking for. So in terms of variety registration, CFIA registers the varieties, but ultimately it's the CGC that determines which varieties are going to be designated to the certain classes."

The PGDC meetings involve four independent recommending committees which are responsible for recommending grain crop candidate cultivars for registration in Western Canada:

Those committees are the Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye, and Triticale (PRCWRT), the Prairie Recommending Committee for Oat and Barley (PRCOB), the Prairie Recommending Committee for Pulse & Special Crops (PRCPSC), and the Prairie Recommending Committee for Oilseeds (PRCO).

This year the Prairie Grain Development Committee meetings are being held February 27th to 29th in Saskatoon.