The Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) is receiving $6.2 million in funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). The announcement was made Wednesday in Winnipeg by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, who was wrapping up her first agricultural tour.

“The Canadian International Grains Institute has been successful in their sustained efforts to ensure buyers here and abroad have a better knowledge and trust in Canadian wheat quality," said Bibeau. "This investment demonstrates that the Government of Canada is committed to supporting the grains sector, improving their competitiveness and fostering continued economic growth for our middle-class and long-term prosperity for all Canadians.”

The funding will be used to expand the market for Canadian wheat through technical support, market research, employee exchanges and customized training for customers and commercial partners in over 50 countries. This project, funded through the AgriMarketing Program, will enable Cigi to strengthen relations with buyers and prevent future market access issues, while expanding existing markets and developing new opportunities around the world.

Over the next three years Cigi will use the funding to demonstrate Canadian wheat quality to international markets, improve customer knowledge of the performance and functionality of Canadian wheat, and gather and share information on customers’ end-use requirements with the Canadian value chain.

“Cigi is committed to fulfilling its role to provide quality support to the Canadian grain sector,” said Cigi board director Laura Reiter. “With this funding, Cigi will continue its efforts to ensure that informed customers know and choose Canadian grain and that the value chain continues to optimize wheat quality for end-use customers.”

In the upcoming year Cigi will engage with customers from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Gulf region.

“Cigi’s relationships with millers and end-users around the world and the technical knowledge of Cigi staff with respect to the processes and needs of customers are critical to supporting the Canadian value chain and responding to technical issues that may impact purchasing decisions,” said JoAnne Buth, Cigi CEO. “The Government of Canada has been a key contributor to Cigi’s success throughout its 47-year history,” said Buth. “We value Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s continuing and long-standing support as a funder and partner in our work.”

Cigi is a not for profit organization established in 1972 to work with the grain and field crop value chain throughout Canada and internationally to drive the development and increase the use of Canadian agricultural products.

Bibeau made stops this week in Vernon & Kelowna, BC in addition to Calgary, and Winnipeg. A statement issued by the ag minister's office states that she "looks forward to visiting Saskatchewan soon to meet with farmers, processors and industry leaders and hear ideas on how to capture growth opportunities for Saskatchewan’s agricultural sector. Dates of her travel will be shared shortly."

The statement also noted that "Minister Bibeau is part of a team which includes many ministers, a number of whom will be traveling in Western Canada this week. Ministers Jim Carr and Bernadette Jordan will both be in Saskatchewan for the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) annual conference, and will be able to speak to the canola matter while there."

This week's tour was planned for former Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay before the shuffle one week ago.

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