MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
It is with pride that I present to you Centre ACER’s 2018 annual report. This year, the Centre once again progressed in the execution of its strategic planning for 2015-2020. It is clear that we that we are on the verge of completing this process successfully while even surpassing our initial objectives. Everyone will agree that the board’s commitment and the Centre ACER team’s devotion are responsible for this success of this approach. The increase in and diversity of members is a testament to our success in living up to the expectations of the industry and to the pertinence of our activities.
The year 2019 will thus be the last for the current planning and the team looks forward with great enthusiasm to planning for 2020-2025. A committee comprised of board representatives, employees and Centre researchers will be responsible for preparing this planning, under the reliable advice of an external consultant. This committee shall also solicit help from external resources, independent from our own organization.
Moreover, in 2018, to ensure the good governance of the Centre ACER, its board created two committees. The first is responsible for reviewing operations, and the second for ensuring that the Centre’s current ethical rules are respected. These two committees have both drafted internal policies. These policies shall first be submitted for approval by the board at the start of 2019 before being transferred to the Quebec ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ). Also, concerned about the transparency of its activities, Centre ACER publishes a summary of its financial results on its website, in addition to its annual report.
I take this opportunity to highlight the expertise and personnel recognition that Centre ACER enjoys within the maple syrup industry. The Centre’s contribution to the mobilization of the industry in order to meet the requirements of the California Agreement certainly reflects this. As a matter of fact, following the collaborative work led by Centre ACER and the publication of the Guide for the improvement of materials used in the maple sugar industry, a training program dedicated to advisers wishing to offer maple producers a diagnostic support service was prepared with the financial support of the MAPAQ. Within this context, the réseaux Agriconseils requires that the adviser have completed this training before it offers financial assistance to the producer. For many years, I have held dear the standardization of services offered to maple sugar businesses. This is why I must highlight how important this recognition of skills is to producers. In my eyes, Centre ACER constitutes an indispensable partner for the network’s expansion of this requirement to other maple sugar adviser’s acts.
Finally, the board thanks the maple sugar industry stakeholders, the members of the consortium, as well as the MAPAQ, our main financial partner, for their contribution and their support. I will also take this occasion to congratulate and thank Centre ACER employees for their efforts and their unique contribution to Quebec’s maple sugar industry.