With approximately 7.6 million tonnes produced on more than 6.8 million acres every year, wheat is a significant agricultural crop in Alberta. However prior to the Alberta Wheat Commission’s inception, only 5% of all wheat producers (those growing Canada Western Red Winter Wheat and Canadian Western Soft White Spring Wheat) were represented by provincial agricultural commissions; the Alberta Winter Wheat Producers Commission (AWWPC) and the Alberta Soft Wheat Producers Commission (ASWPC).
Wheat producers engaged
In 2008, members of the Alberta Winter Wheat Producers Commission (AWWPC) resolved to investigate grower interest in creating an all-wheat commission. Then in 2009, Ipsos Forward Research was engaged to survey more than 300 diverse wheat producers across Alberta. A majority of survey respondents (58%) said they favoured the establishment of an all-wheat producer commission. Those surveyed saw the primary focus of the new commission as supporting and developing Alberta’s wheat industry through:
- Innovative research
- Market development
- Advocacy and lobbying
- Producer extension and education
Encouraged by these survey results and additional producer feedback, the AWWPC along with the Alberta Soft Wheat Producers Commission (ASWPC) established a steering committee of Alberta wheat producers in January 2011 to develop a strategic business plan that would form the foundation for and initiate the process that would establish an all-wheat commission in Alberta.
Alberta Wheat Commission is launched
With significant collective effort on the part of the Steering Committee and Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, on August 1, 2012, the new Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) was officially launched with a mission to increase the long-term profitability of wheat and Alberta wheat producers through innovative research, agronomic support and extension, market development, communications and policy development.
Mission, Vision & Values
AWC’s mission is to increase the long-term profitability of wheat and Alberta wheat producers through innovative research, market development, policy development, communications and extension.
How we’re forging ahead
The Alberta Wheat Commission will be a leader in the Canadian wheat industry. We will be the catalyst for wheat research and innovation and create an environment for an investment in wheat. We will collaborate with industry to strengthen market opportunities. We will be the go-to organization for government to garner policy advice. We will lead the Alberta wheat industry forward.
Programs that work for farmers
We have a vibrant markets program dedicated to developing markets internationally and at home. Our research program is well established and is focused on investing in research that makes sense for farmers. Research also has an education component – AWC makes it a priority to invest in our future generation of farm leaders. Our policy and government relations program is posed to bring the farmer voice to the table with policy issues both provincially and nationally. And we leverage our government relations to ensure that agriculture policy always has farmers’ best interest in mind. Our communications, grower relations and extension program is integral in building our brand awareness and extending knowledge from city to farm. And our finance and human resources department is key in ensuring AWC is transparent and accountable to Alberta’s wheat farmers.
Learn more about how AWC is working for farmers by watching the videos below.