At Grain Farmers of Ontario our goal is to provide our farmer-members the information and resources needed to continue to be economically sustainable while operating in a manner that meets their commitment to the environment and society.
In order to meet this goal, Grain Farmers of Ontario has undertaken a number of sustainability initiatives to ensure we remain a strong competitor in the global marketplace.
Canadian Field Print Initiative (CFPI)
The CFPI represents a diverse group working collaboratively on a shared vision of sustainability-based performance measurement. Members include commodity associations, industry representatives and end use companies.
The CFPI is working to develop market-driven, science-based, and outcome-focused metrics which will examine key on farm indicators which help to tell a story of farm sustainability across Canada.
Initiatives under the CFPI include the Canadian Field Print Calculator.
The Canadian Field Print Calculator is an easy-to-use, farm-level measurement tool that allows growers to confidentially assess their environmental performance against national and regional benchmarks using their own field data.
Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC)
The CRSC is a national multi-stakeholder initiative dedicated to advancing sustainable production practices and outcomes across Canada’s grains, oilseeds and pulse value chains. Participants include grower, industry, customer and consumer organizations. The CRSC serves as a forum for facilitating cross-commodity collaboration and coordination on sustainable agriculture issues and opportunities facing grains sector participants. Grain Farmers of Ontario has been very active in the development of the CRSC and our Chair, Mark Brock is Co-Chair for the CRSC.
Sustainable Agricultural Initiative (SAI)
The SAI Platform is the main food and drink industry initiative supporting the development of sustainable agriculture worldwide. SAI is a global food industry initiative for sustainable agriculture that seeks involvement from all food chains stakeholders. The SAI Platform is based on four main pillars including sustainable farming practices, economy, social and environment. Through the SAI a Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) tool has been developed. The FSA is an easy-to-use tool that is a useful benchmark for comparing existing certification and company specific schemes. The FSA tool allows farmers to see their current sustainability performance and assess areas of improvement. Grain Farmers of Ontario is a current member of several of SAI’s internal working committees.
Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS)
RTRS Business Guide
RTRS Self Assessment Tool (Microsoft Excel document)
Founded in Switzerland in 2006, the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) is a multi-stakeholder organization with representation from large retailers and NGO’s. Its objective is to facilitate global dialogue on economically viable, socially equitable, and environmentally appropriate soybean production. It provides stakeholders—farmers, social organizations, companies, and industries—with the opportunity to develop joint global solutions leading to responsible soybean production.
This market-driven, sustainability certification program contains 5 main principles including; legal compliance and good business practice, responsible labour conditions, responsible community relations, environmental responsibility and good agricultural practices.
In 2014 in partnership with Snobelen Farms Limited, 16 Ontario soybean farmers were certified under the RTRS program.
4R Nutrient Stewardship Strategy
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Strategy has been developed by the world’s fertilizer industries and works to enhance environmental protection and improve sustainability for farmers. The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Strategy is based on 4 principles to nutrient application; the right source, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place. The program can assist farmers in improving nutrient management on their operations and GHG emissions.