Alberta wheat and barley farmers will ‘take all the positive hype’ during pandemic

Click to play video: 'Canadians consuming more grains during pandemic'
Canadians consuming more grains during pandemic
WATCH: If you scroll through social media, you can see just how many more people are taking up baking to pass the time during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Quinn Campbell reports, the consumption of baking products has been good for Canadian grain farmers – May 7, 2020

The smell of freshly baked bread is filling homes across Canada as the pandemic has inspired many to take a crack at new recipes to pass the time.

“I’ve never seen so many people making cinnamon buns, scones and bread,” said Gary Stanford.

Seeing Canadians doing all that baking is a source of pride for the ones behind the wheel of a tractor, like Stanford.

“Being a farmer, it’s like you want to help feed Canada, and you want to help feed the world, so when it’s more close to home than it has been for a long time, it gives us a good feeling that we are really helping.”

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The bread-making has been good for business. Many stores are selling out of key ingredients like yeast and flour.

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“We will certainly take all the positive hype we can get around people doing home baking and appreciating the value of the wheat produced in Canada, both wheat and durum,” said Tom Steve, general manager of Alberta Wheat and Barley.

Click to play video: 'The rise of home baking'
The rise of home baking

It’s not just at-home baking helping boost the reputation of grains. Two Guys and A Pizza Place says it hasn’t run into any shortages yet, but people are definitely eating a lot of take-out and that means lots of dough.

“I’ve definitely seen that, I can agree. I just did a round table with Canadian Pizza magazine and some pizzerias from across the country, and surprisingly it’s kind of across the board where every pizzeria was doing pretty well with delivery, takeout and had an increase in sales,” said owner Cory Medd.

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Grain prices have jumped a bit since the pandemic began. Steve said it’s not just because people are cooking and eating up a storm.

“I think it would be an oversimplification to suggest that it all has to do with people ordering more pizzas and at-home baking because we are subject to a global market and the global supply and demand.”

Steve added the pandemic has helped in getting the product to the world market. The backlog of grain from rail blockades and strikes earlier this year is now moving at record numbers as the demand for other commodities shipped by rail slows.

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