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SaskFlax and SaskCanola collaboration seen as a positive

SaskFlax and SaskCanola collaboration seen as a positive

SaskFlax will benefit SaskCanola’s resources, says Greg Sundquist

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The new working relationship between two Saskatchewan ag organizations should be viewed positively.

That’s one of the messages Greg Sundquist (pictured), chair of the Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission (SaskFlax) wants to send to farmers.

“To me it’s a great situation,” he told Farms.com.

SaskFlax and the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission (SaskCanola) recently announced a management collaboration that will see both organizations work out of one office.

This means SaskFlax will benefit from shared resources, Sundquist said.

“SaskCanola is a much larger organization than SaskFlax. We were basically an executive director and an agronomist,” Sundquist said. “SaskCanola has communications, finance and just more overall staff. We’ll be able to tap into that to help SaskFlax out.”

Two factors played into SaskFlax and SaskCanola entering this working arrangement.

The first is leadership.

SaskFlax’s former executive director, Wayne Thompson, left the organization in July to become the executive director of the Western Grains Research Foundation.

Working together with SaskCanola means its executive director, Tracy Broughton, can support SaskFlax’s board, Sundquist said.

The second reason is finances.

As flax acres have decreased recently (416,000 seeded acres in 2021-22 compared to 315,000 in 2022-23), the organization has fewer dollars to operate with.

“Acres are down, production is down and therefore (the organization’s) income is down,” Sundquist said.

Could this working relationship be the firs step in a merger between the two organizations?

Sundquist doesn’t think a merger is in the cards at this point.

“In the future, who knows, but at this time I believe we can remain two separate entities,” he said.

For the time being, canola and flax levies will be collected separately, and each organization will maintain individual boards of directors and governance structures.


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