Milestone year for Cigi marked by new vision, mission and strategic plan


A new vision, mission and strategic plan for Cigi were key outcomes in 2017-18, a year that will be remembered as a milestone for the organization following the establishment of a new funding model and governance structure in June 2017.

For the first time in Cigi’s history, farmers and grain companies are now contributing equally to the governance and funding of Cigi.  “During the past year, board members have developed a working relationship built on a shared desire to shape Cigi’s future for the betterment of the industry as a whole,” says board chair Kevin Bender.

Details of the five-year strategic plan are contained in Cigi’s annual report, recently released at its Annual General Meeting in June.  The plan is focused on the delivery of pre-market and in-market technical support for the Canadian grain sector, built around Cigi’s proven ability to provide quality support, says Kevin.

Highlights of the plan include: (see Cigi’s 2017-18 annual report for full details)

Vision: Globally recognized expert in milling and end-use functionality of Canadian grain.

Mission: To be the trusted independent source for milling, quality and end-use functionality expertise for millers and end users of Canadian grain to increase market opportunities and end-user success.

Focus area: Pre-Market Support
Goal: Products, processes and/or registered varieties that consistently meet customer needs.


  • Communicate wheat customer requirements to the value chain
  • Wheat variety development support
  • Pulse milling and functionality support

Focus area: In-Market Technical Support
Goal: Informed customers know and choose Canadian grain.


  • Wheat technical training and knowledge exchange
  • Wheat harvest assessment
  • Wheat new crop missions
  • Wheat milling and product functionality centre of expertise
  • Wheat new variety quality information
  • Monitor and benchmark wheat from other origins
  • Domestic wheat market support

“For those most familiar with Cigi, you will not see significant changes in the types of work that we are doing,” says Cigi CEO JoAnne Buth.  “What you will see is even more focus on the things Cigi does best. Cigi’s role within the grain value chain domestically and internationally has been reaffirmed and succinctly defined in two words – quality support. Firmly positioning our purpose with those in the industry seeking the information, expertise and resources Cigi has to offer in the milling and end-use functionality of Canadian grain.”

New board member

At the Annual General Meeting, Laura Reiter, chair of the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission became the newest member elected to Cigi’s board of directors. Kevin Bender, Brent Watchorn and Jim Smolik were re-elected as chair, vice chair and secretary, respectively. The board is composed of five representatives from the provincial wheat commissions in Western Canada and five representatives from the grain handlers/exporter sector.

Front row (l-r): Bill Gehl, Director, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission; Laura Reiter, Director, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission; JoAnne Buth, Cigi CEO; Jim Smolik, Secretary, Cargill Canada; Gary Stanford, Director, Alberta Wheat Commission.

Back row (l-r): Drew Baker, Director, Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association; Jean-Marc Ruest, Director, Richardson International Limited; Kevin Bender, Chair, Alberta Wheat Commission; Shane Paterson, Director, Paterson Grain; Trent Rude, Director, Viterra; Brent Watchorn, Vice Chair, Richardson International Limited.

(Photo taken in Cigi’s pilot bakery)