NFU asks CWB: What were you thinking? CWB’s new marketing campaign offends farmers
Saskatoon, SK: “What an image of a long-legged woman straddling a fence has to do with selling grain is beyond me,” says Joan Brady, NFU Women’s President. “The ad is offensive, and likely to cause farmers to market their grain elsewhere.”
Brady is referring to the CWB’s suggestive marketing campaign, ‘Still on the Fence,’ featuring a 1969 Gil Elvgren print called "Hi-Ho, Silver”.“The new CWB doesn’t seem to realize that women are farmers and make marketing decisions,” she states. “Whether in our own right or in partnership, we are deeply involved in all aspects of farming,” says Brady.
“We’re also equal and active participants in theNFU - the only national farm organization with mechanisms to ensure women’s voices are heard. We serve as elected officers, organize in our communities and provinces, and formulate and articulate policy in all levels of the NFU. Our voices count.”
Kathleen Charpentier, NFU Women’s Vice President and a farmer from Castor, Alberta, says “The CWB’s new campaign harkens back to times better left behind. Now though, male farmers are equally offended. This doesn’t reflect an organization that is modern, professional and responsive. I’m mystified that they would use such a backwards approach. They must be in dire straits to stoop so low.”
Glenn Tait, NFU board member, says: “We’ve heard that the CWB is having problems filling its pools. This ad seems to show the desperation that would suggest evidence of just that. Farmers have also reported that the agreements that the CWB made with other grain companies are being pushed to the back of the line. Elevators are favouring their own delivery contracts first, and only accept CWB deliveries if there is excess capacity.”
Tait says “Many long-time CWB supporters are deliberately marketing outside of the CWB as a statement of principle rather than a lack of loyalty. The choice signifies their rejection of the undemocratic process used to dismantle the CWB and the Harper government’s appropriation of our resources – farmers’ resources.”
Tait believes that this ad campaign is not likely to attract customers. He says, “Of course, we are offended, for the reasons stated by my colleagues above. Mostly though, we’re saddened by an amateurish and off-target campaign conducted by the ghost of what used to be a world-class entity. We have said that Harper and Ritz are taking the grain trade back 100 years with their destructive legislation. Now the new CWB, under the direction of Harper and Ritz’s appointees is advertising that it’s halfway there,” he concluded.
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The National Farmers Union is a direct-membership voluntary organization made up of Canadian farm families who share common goals. It is the only farm organization incorporated through an Act of Parliament.
NFU members believe that the problems facing farmers are common problems, and that farmers producing diverse products must work together to advance effective solutions. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada.