Grain Elevator Agri Business Sectors
Physical Handling and Storage Services
Elevators receive grains and oilseeds from crop producers and dry, clean and store these crops before marketing them into the processing system. These grains and oilseeds are then transformed into numerous products including flour, corn oil, corn syrup, cereal, vegetable oil, soybean meal, tofu, whiskey, animal feed and ethanol.
The major crops handled by Ontario's elevator system include wheat, corn, soybeans, white and coloured beans, canola, oats and barley. The elevator trade has invested a substantial amount of money, putting up bins to store grains, as well as in grain drying equipment that removes moisture from grains and oilseeds to level that ensures that optimum grain quality is maintained during storage.
Elevators also provide assistance to producers in helping them market their crop. Elevators have access to marketing instruments such as futures and options to help producers hedge and reduce their financial risk.
Meeting the Quality Specifications of Domestic and Global Markets
In order to meet consumer needs, processers are increasing their requirements and standards for many of the commodities that they receive. In order to meet the needs of downstream users the elevator trade has implemented a number of programs. An increasing amount of grains and oilseeds are produced under an Identity Preserved (I.P.) system which tracks the production from the certified seed the crop producer plants through to storage at the elevator to ensure that the attributes of that specific crop variety are maintained.
The Ontario Agri Business Association recently developed a 'Good Operating Practices for Country Elevators' manual that was distributed to our members to help them set up food safety and quality control programs that meet industry and government standards. The Ontario elevator system plays a key role is assuring food safety. Food processors depend on the protocols and procedures of the elevator industry to ensure a safe supply of high quality grains and oilseeds.