Saskatoon, Sask. – The National Farmers Union (NFU) says that the Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) have abandoned the farmers of Manitoba with their recent decision to withdraw from the fight to save the Canadian Wheat Board’s (CWB) single desk. “Manitoba farmers are upset with this decision. If KAP isn’t going to stick up for the CWB when farmers clearly voted in favour of maintaining the single desk in the plebiscite, what’s the point in being a member of that organization?” asked NFU Region 5 (Manitoba) Coordinator Ian Robson.
“KAP is saying they want to see if there’s some way forward other than with the CWB’s single desk or the open market. Where’s that going to get Manitoba farmers? We all know there are only two options: it’s the CWB with the single desk, or it’s an open market,” stated Robson. “KAP isn’t going to get anywhere by helping Ritz come up with a plan that is only going to result in negative consequences for farmers. The NFU and others have done plenty of research that proves the single desk is the best option, because it earns premiums for farmers from the marketplace to the tune of over $500 million, year after year,” continued Robson.
“What’s next for KAP? Are they going to abandon their support of supply management too, as soon as a government asks for their ‘cooperation’?” asked Robson.
The NFU has always been a staunch defender of the CWB’s single desk. Other groups such as the Wild Rose Agricultural Producers (WRAP) in Alberta have also come out in defence of the CWB. Last week WRAP issued a press release that called on the federal government to respect the results of the CWB’s plebiscite. “It’s obvious which groups are actually sticking up for their members. We commend WRAP for the stand it has taken,” said NFU President Terry Boehm.
“Farmers are clearly seeing who has the courage to stand up for their best interests, and I’m betting that there’s going to be a lot of them rethinking which organization they want to belong to in the future,” stated NFU Board Member Beverly Stow.
“We invite farmers to bring their memberships over to the NFU. With the NFU, you know that the CWB will always be defended. The NFU will always stand up for Canada’s farmers,” stated Robson.