Strategic plan unveiled

GFO HAS AN EXCITING YEAR AHEAD OF THEM

a strategic plan is like a roadmap,” began Grain Farmers of Ontario’s CEO at their Annual General Meeting with delegates in September. Although he acknowledged that it would be much simpler if he had GPS, it is obvious that Senft and the GFO board of directors are excited about the new plan.

With less than a year since GFO was formed as the province’s largest commodity organization, the board has a clear job ahead of them. “The job,” says Senft “is to bring value to farmers through research, innovation, marketing, market development, production information, advocacy and outreach and to do this in a rapidly changing and often unpredictable environment.”

understanding the plan
GFO’s new strategic plan outlines clear goals and strategies for achieving them in a flexible framework that is reflective of the constantly changing nature of the agriculture industry. “The plan needs to be adaptable to change while providing high level direction for the future,” confirms Senft.

The plan is separated into five key sections

• Our mission sets out our purpose and who we are
• Our vision sets out what we strive to be
• Our core values describe the type of organization we wish to be
• Our strategic goals set out the specific targets we have established
• Our strategies set out how our goals will be achieved

the plan
The entire plan is outlined online at www.gfo.ca but below is a small preview of what members and the public can expect from GFO.

Our mission is to develop and promote an innovative and successful business environment which will allow our farmer members the opportunity for
profitable growth.

Our vision is to drive the Ontario grain industry to become a global leader. “That may sound like an unusually ambitious goal,” says Senft. “But, ultimately, it will be the true test of our success as an organization, that we have been a driver in building global respect and acceptance for the type of – and quality of – the grains we take to all our markets.”

Specifically, GFO has set out five strategic goals to work towards over the next year and beyond. “The first goal is to achieve steady growth by expanding existing and premium markets for production through our market development program, our wheat marketing program and by encouraging novel new uses of Ontario grain,” says Senft.

The second goal revolves around research and ensuring that research supported by GFO is targeted to opportunities that will enhance farmer member returns.

Representing our farmer members’ interests in a committed, efficient and cost effective manner is the third goal outlined in GFO’s strategic plan.

“Our fourth target is to partner with government on a strategy for farm programs that promote bankability, predictability and sustainability,” says Senft.

Finally, the last goal is to be the preferred contact point for our farmer members and their business information needs while also being the preferred information source to the public.

“These are five ambitious goals,” says Senft, “however, if we are to be successful and bring full value in a highly competitive and rapidly changing business climate we need to have targets that force us to really stretch to reach them.”

More details on how GFO plans to meet these goals can be found at www.gfo.ca. If you have any questions regarding GFO’s strategic plan, contact the office at
1-800-265-0550 or your local director. •