WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — The board of directors of  the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) approved on July 4 a new governance model for the institute that will expand board membership to include representation from across the value chain.

Historically the make-up of the Cigi board reflected its founding organizations with members from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Wheat Board and the Canadian Grain Commission. In June 2012 the addition of three new directors, all farmers from Western Canada, to fill two positions previously held by the Canadian Wheat Board and one vacant ‘at large’ position marked the first step in revamping the board.

Now Cigi is in the process of contacting industry organizations representing exporters, farmers, processors, and other technical industry officials to nominate individuals to sit on the board of directors, which will be made up of a minimum of six to a maximum of nine members. To enable the transition from the old structure to the new structure, five of Cigi’s current directors have transferred into one- or two-year terms on the board. These directors are Jim Wilson, Randy Johner, LeRon Torrie, Henry Van Ankum and Murdoch MacKay.  
“Cigi has turned a corner with this new governance structure,” said Murdoch MacKay, who is continuing in his role as board chairperson. “This really is a momentous occasion because it demonstrates how much Cigi is evolving and working with the industry on a much broader scale.”

The annual meeting was the right time to implement the changes, said MacKay.  

“We’ve been discussing this at the board table for some time and decided to move ahead with these changes now so that the board is representative of the industry that Cigi is serving,” he said.

New directors will be selected by the current Cigi board members. The goal is to have a balance of representatives from different industry sectors. It is expected there will be a slate of directors in place when the Cigi board next meets in mid-October.

“This governance change ensures that Cigi can and will reflect an industry-driven service and program agenda,” said Earl Geddes, Cigi chief executive officer.  “As an independent institute having the industry value chain well represented on our board of directors ensures that we will receive strategic direction that is in line with where the industry is going.”