FARMERS, NOT GOVERNMENT, SHOULD DECIDE CWB FUTURE

Saskatoon, Sask. – The NFU is calling on the new Harper majority government to respect to the wishes of Western Canadian farmers regarding the Canadian Wheat Board’s (CWB) single-desk selling advantage.

“We now have a Conservative majority government and one of the questions on the minds of prairie grain farmers is the status of single-desk selling for the Canadian Wheat Board. We have been told by the Harper government repeatedly that they believe that prairie farmers should decide on this issue. We hope that they will honour that commitment.” stated NFU President Terry Boehm.

“Farmers have consistently elected pro-single-desk directors to the Board of the CWB and in the last round of director elections this past fall farmers again spoke and elected four out five directors who were clearly supporting the single desk. Indeed, it was almost five out of five, but for a few votes in one district. The majority of farmers have consistently spoken out loud and clear in support of the CWB, and its single desk selling of wheat and barley. They do so because they understand that this is in their own best interests for achieving the best returns for their farms,” continued Boehm.

“Support for the Board crosses all political boundaries and parties. We have something unique that developed out of a long struggle for farmers to market their grain from a position of strength, rather than accepting the price offered by a few multinational grain companies which dominate the world’s grain trade. The CWB is good for farmers and good for the economy of Canada as a whole. If we dismantle this unique institution it will be extremely hard, if not impossible, to bring it back. Let us hope that ideology will not overtake good business sense when it comes to the CWB,” concluded Boehm.

The CWB markets over 20 million tonnes of grain on the world market on behalf of western Canadian farmers. This gives our farmers tremendous market power. Last year the CWB’s sales program was valued at $5.2 billion.

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