Wheat Growers enthusiastic about implementation of Marketing Choice

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers are elated that its long-term goal of marketing choice will finally be realized, following the election of a Conservative minority government. “Wheat Growers are enthusiastic about the introduction of marketing choice,” says Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel, President of the Wheat Growers. “This has been a goal of our Association for many years, and we are very pleased to see that it will finally happen.”

A key plank of the Conservative agriculture platform was to introduce marketing choice for western Canadian farmers. The Wheat Growers believe the introduction of marketing choice with improve returns to farmers and lead to greater domestic processing and prosperity throughout western Canada.

“Virtually every rural riding in western Canada supported the Conservatives, so they clearly have a strong mandate to implement marketing choice,” says Jolly-Nagel. “We will be urging the Party to take the necessary steps to implement choice within the coming weeks.” 

The Wheat Growers are advocating a two-stage approach to implementing changes to the Canadian Wheat Board. In stage one, the goal will be to implement marketing choice as quickly as possible. The second stage involves the restructuring of the CWB so that it evolves into a truly producer owned and controlled company, and is compliant with requirements under the prospective WTO agreement. “Our objective is to ensure the CWB remains an effective marketing tool for farmers,” says Jolly-Nagel.

“Throughout our history the Wheat Growers have been known for promoting positive reforms to the CWB including pricing and payment options, protein grading, pool return outlooks and many other progressive changes. We see this as a further step in the CWB’s evolutionary process.” 

he Wheat Growers note that implementing marketing choice will not require any legislative amendments. The federal government simply needs to harmonize the regulations in western Canada with those now in place for farmers in Ontario. This can be achieved by instructing the CWB to provide export permits at no cost to farmers and the private trade, and to allow domestic processors the ability to purchase wheat and barley directly from farmers and grain companies. 

“The Wheat Growers are prepared to work with the government to ensure there is a smooth transition to marketing choice,” says Jolly-Nagel. “Our objective is to ensure the CWB is reformed in a manner that best serves western farmers.”

The WCWGA, an independent producer organization, has spent 35 years bringing forth innovative farmer-driven solutions and will continue to lobby on behalf of forward thinking, progressive producers in an effort to make farming sustainable and profitable.