Agriculture and Food Processing - Commodities: Grains & Oilseeds

Flax


About the Industry | High Quality | Flax Products | Exports | Contacts

Field of Flax The Manitoba Advantage

The climatic conditions unique to Manitoba provide ideal growing conditions for oilseed flax.

The long sunny prairie days characteristic of the Manitoba growing season and the traditionally dry harvest period make Manitoba one of the most productive flax growing locations in the world.

As a result, Manitoba reaps some of the largest flax yields in the world and has the reputation of providing consistent high quality.

About the Industry

Manitoba has been growing flax since the late 1800s but it was not until World War II that it emerged as an alternative cash crop to wheat and other cereals.

Today, Canada is the top flax producer in the world, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the world's flax production.

Manitoba plays a large part in Canada's flax production, producing approximately 30 percent of Canada's flax, which translates into an average harvest of 350 to 500 thousand acres.
The Canadian flax industry has a strong visual grading system designed to ensure uniform quality.
The flaxseed is graded based on damage (broken seeds) and admixture at several different locations including both the country elevators and terminal elevators.

This allows for lower quality seed to be removed, providing more uniform export product. Contracts and options for flax can be traded on the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange.

Quality

canola flowersThe primary reason for Manitoba's high quality flaxseed is the active involvement of producers and researchers in maintaining and increasing quality standards of new varieties developed and produced.

Manitoba flaxseed is characterized by a strong combination of oil content, iodine value, and low moisture content. The superior quality of the Manitoba flaxseed crop is strongly influenced by the moderate growing temperatures and longer photoperiod (hours of sunlight) distinctive to Manitoba.

Additionally, Manitoba flaxseed is harvested in the fall. The traditional dryness of this period means the seed usually requires no drying and is therefore harvested at a moisture level adequate for export.

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Products

Flaxseed is processed into a variety of diverse products from bakery products and nutritional supplements to linseed oil for paints and linoleum.

Pizzey’s Nutrionals in Angusville produces processed flax ingredients such as ground flax products, whole flaxseed, pancake and muffin flaxseed mixes for manufacturer and retail sale. Products are sold under the MeadowPureTM label.

Shape Foods in Brandon produces cold pressed culinary quality flax oil products, such as combination of cold pressed flax/sunflower oil and flax/sunflower/olive oil for human consumption.  Products are sold under the Heart ShapeTM label. 

Flax straw fibre is processed in Manitoba by Ecusta Fibres Ltd and Schweitzer Mauduit Canada Inc at various locations across Manitoba.

The process involves removing the flax fibre from the straw and using that fibre for industrial purposes as well as fine papers for cigarettes and currency.

Exports

Flax SeedManitoba currently exports flaxseed to countries such as Belgium, Japan, The Netherlands and the United States.
Processed flax exports to these countries include linseed oil, oil-cake, flax fibre, tow and waste.

Manitoba producers have a long tradition of growing flax and are recognized for the production of a top quality product and a commitment to meet customer demand domestically and internationally.

 


Contact: Address: Other Links:

Mila Ruiz Turiaf
Mila.RuizTuriaf@gov.mb.ca

Send a Message or
E-mail: mbtrade@gov.mb.ca

Tel:  204-945-2466
Fax: 204-957-1763
Toll free in Canada and the U.S.
1-800-529-9981

Manitoba Trade & Investment
1100 - 259 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba,
Canada R3B 3P4

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