Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) provides information, research and technology, and policies and programs that ensure that Canada’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector is environmentally sustainable, competitive, innovative and able to proactively manage risk.  The activities of the department extend through all phases of producing, processing and marketing of agriculture and agri-food products.  Specific to the barley malt industry, AAFC has responsibilities around the issues of food inspection and the overall grain handling systems and associated standards.

More than 4,000 AAFC employees, including nearly 600 scientists, work at the department’s headquarters in Ottawa and its 19 Research Centres and other sites located across the country.

Brandon Research Centre

One of AAFC’s 19 research centres, the Brandon Research Centre is one of the original five experimental farms established by the Federal Government in 1886 under the Experimental Farm Station Act.  The Centre conducts research on crop production, including fertilization requirements of crops, ecology and control of weeds, biology and management of crop diseases, genetics and breeding of barley, management of pastures and cattle, land resource management and impacts of agriculture on the environment.

The Centre’s work produces knowledge, technologies and management practices that enable agricultural producers of the Parkland region to produce the safe and healthy food and fibre products that are demanded by national and international consumers.  Researchers also investigate ways enhance the environmental and economic sustainability of land and water resources, improve the efficient use of inputs and resources, and increase producers’ economic and market competitiveness in domestic and international markets.

Canadian Grain Commission (CGC)

All parts of this federal government department work toward one common goal: to ensure that Canada's grain is safe, reliable, and marketable and that Canadian grain producers are protected. It offers four services: quality assurance, quantity assurance, grain quality research and producer protection.

The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) regulates the grain handling industry and is the official certifier of Canadian grain. It implements a system of grading and inspection that governs handling, transportation and storage of grain.  The Commission carries out research aimed at building understanding of all aspects of grain quality and grain safety, and to support the grain grading system.

CGC Grain Research Laboratory

CGC’s Grain Research Laboratory responds to the needs and priorities of the Canadian malting and brewing industry. Its Applied Barley Research Program provides quality assurance for malting barley grown in western Canada. Researchers analyze malt quality of selected samples for the annual barley harvest. They also work closely with plant breeders to develop and evaluate improved malting barley varieties that satisfy domestic and international maltsters’ processing requirements. 

Research is carried out on factors affecting malting barley and on quality measurement methods. The Grain Research Laboratory’s Basic Barley Research program focuses on the chemistry and biochemistry of malting and hulless barley for malting and brewing, as well as for human food purposes.  Primary objectives are to identify and characterize factors and molecular mechanisms that are responsible for the functionality and performance of barley during processing and its end-use quality. This strategic research leads to improving quality and processing performance of Canadian barley for current and future needs.