Agricore United

Agricore United
Canadian Grain Commission

Canadian Grain Commission

April 05, 2005 16:02 ET

Agricore United and Canadian Grain Commission Partner to Enhance Farmers' Security


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews



FOR: AGRICORE UNITED

TSX SYMBOL: AU.LV

AND CANADIAN GRAIN COMMISSION

APRIL 5, 2005 - 16:02 ET

Agricore United and Canadian Grain Commission Partner
to Enhance Farmers' Security

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - April 5, 2005) - Agricore United
(TSX:AU.LV) has partnered with the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) to
introduce a new insurance program aimed at enhancing security to
Canadian grain producers. The innovative new program developed by Aon
Reed Stenhouse (Aon) insures producer cash tickets and grain and
elevator receipts as required by the Canada Grain Act. This program will
greatly reduce the cost to Agricore United and other participating
companies of providing such security.

The proprietary program, managed by Aon and underwritten by the Canadian
Branch of Zurich Insurance Company, a Zurich Financial Services
subsidiary, with Atradius as managing general underwriter for Canadian
credit insurance programs, allows for more timely and accurate reporting
of liabilities to the CGC through a new computerized reporting system.
The policy will insure 100 percent of all eligible liabilities, up to
the policy limit, that participating grain companies report to the CGC.
The current practice requires grain companies to provide the CGC with
letters of credit or bonds, the cost of which has increased
significantly in the past two years.

"Having a third party insurer meet the requirements of the Canada Grain
Act has two main advantages," says Sherry Lees, Treasurer, Agricore
United. "We'll be able to offer the security to our farmer customers on
a more cost effective basis, while improving the level of protection on
the value of cash tickets and grain and elevator receipts that we have
issued."

The CGC and Agricore United developed the program with the interests of
all farmers in mind, allowing all industry grain licensees equal access
to the program.

"While Agricore United led the way in finding a solution to a costly
issue in the grain industry, we recognize the value of this program for
all Canadian grain companies," says Regis Gosselin, Director of
Corporate Services, CGC. "All licensees in the industry can take
advantage of this program and the associated efficiencies will
ultimately benefit all farmers across the country."

"Without the vision, will and commitment to innovation on the part of
Agricore United and the CGC, this program could not have become
reality," says Douglas Roff, Senior Consultant, Finance, Aon and Jack
Scott, Senior Vice President, Aon. "Together with Zurich and Atradius
Trade Services, we have designed a program to meet the 21st century
needs of the agricultural community in Canada, while significantly
reducing cost and accurately measuring risk."

The CGC is a federal government department and operates under the
authority of the Canada Grain Act. Headquartered in Winnipeg, the CGC is
responsible for the ensuring of consistent quality of the Canadian grain
system and protecting the interests of Canadian grain producers.

Agricore United is one of Canada's leading agri-businesses. The
prairie-based company is diversified into sales of crop inputs and
services, grain merchandising, livestock production services and
financial markets. Agricore United's shares are publicly traded on the
Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "AU.LV".

Backgrounder

(AGRICORE UNITED AND CANADIAN GRAIN COMMISSION SEEK TO
IMPROVE FARMERS' BOTTOM LINE)

Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc is a member of Chicago-based Aon Corporation, an
insurance services holding company providing risk management consulting
services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, human capital and
management consulting and specialty insurance underwriting. Aon
Corporation is the largest specialty broker of trade credit and
political risk programs in the world. It has a worldwide network of more
than 500 offices in over 120 countries and employs more than 48,000
people. Aon Corporation's common stock (Symbol AOC) is listed on the New
York stock exchange.

Zurich Financial Services (www.zurich.com) is an insurance-based
financial services provider with a global network that focuses its
activities on its key markets in North America and Europe. Founded in
1872, Zurich is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Through its
offices in more than 50 countries, 57,000 Zurich employees serve clients
in more than 120 countries. In North America, Zurich (www.zurichna.com)
is a leading commercial property-casualty insurance provider serving the
global corporate, large corporate, middle market, small business (not
offered in Canada), specialties and programs sectors.

Atradius is one of the world's leading credit insurers with a total
turnover of around CAD 2.03 billion and a worldwide market share of 25
percent. It insures about CAD 470 billion of worldwide trade annually
against the risk of non-payment and provides a comprehensive range of
risk transfer, financing and trade receivables management. With a staff
of over three thousand and more than 90 offices in 40 countries,
Atradius has access to credit information on 45 million companies
worldwide and makes 12,000 credit limit decisions daily. Atradius is
rate "A" by Standard & Poor's (outlook stable) and "A2" by Moody's
(outlook stable).

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Agricore United
    Radean Carter
    Communications Coordinator
    (204) 944-2238 Cel: (204) 792-8522
    rcarter@agricoreunited.com
    or
    Canadian Grain Commission
    Regis Gosselin
    Director of Corporate Services
    (204) 983-2752
    rgosselin@grainscanada.gc.ca