Flax Council of Canada
The Flax Council of Canada, established in 1986, is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of various representatives of the flax industry, including producers, exporters,
manufacturers and grain companies. With this broad representation, the Council
identifies opportunities and challenges for Canadian flax and flax products and acts as
a catalyst for action.
The Council's mandate is to
develop and support markets that will lead to increased Canadian flax production
and exports of flax and flax products.
The Council initiates marketing,
communications and research programs.
Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission
The Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission, established in May 1996,
represents Saskatchewan's 15,000 plus
flax producers. A check-off system
(mandatory but refundable) enables the Commission to support research,
communication and market facilitation activities to promote and enhance
production and value-added processing of flax in the province.
The Commission works in partnership with the flax industry and allied agricultural organizations to ensure quality flax and flax products worldwide.
Flax belongs to the genus Linum, one of 10 genera in the family Linaceae. The genus contains more than 100 annual and perennial species. Cultivated flax belongs to the species, L. usitatissimum, and its varieties are of two types: one is grown for oil and the other for fibre.
In Canada, at present, oilseed flax is the main commercially produced crop. Yet, there is a growing trend back to natural fibres for both industrial applications and textiles. This trend will only continue as pressures increase to produce materials that are recyclable or decomposable. As a result, Western Canadian businesses are realizing the value of flax straw, and are developing technologies to handle oilseed straw and produce fibre from it for industrial purposes. The extraction and processing of fibre from existing flax straw residue and the dedicated planting of fibre flax will create new production and value-adding opportunities for Western Canadian flax producers.
Using advanced crop breeding
techniques, researchers have developed from flax a new oilseed — solin. Solin oil contains less than 5% linolenic acid compared to more than 50% in flax oil, producing a
light oil suitable for cooking. Canadian Grain Commission Standards specify that solin varieties have a yellow seedcoat.
Flax and Solin
Flax and solin are grown using the same agronomic practices. Any recommendations in the manual referring to flax will also apply to solin, unless otherwise stated.