Western Grain Elevator Association

Western Grain Elevator Association

January 03, 2008 09:42 ET

WGEA Calls for Barley Deregulation/Dispute Resolution

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Jan. 3, 2008) - The Western Grain Elevator Association is calling for the complete deregulation of barley as soon as possible, explaining that reaching resolution with the CWB on contract terms is not achievable.

The members of the WGEA have been trying to negotiate malt barley contracts with the Canadian Wheat Board over previous months, but the terms offered by the CWB are unacceptable. "The CWB's contract terms do not allow WGEA member companies to provide full price transparency to their farmer customers, nor do the terms provide farmers and end use customers with the right market signals. In addition, the inherent restrictions within the contracts do not allow grain companies to operate in a commercially reasonable manner," said Wade Sobkowich, Executive Director of the WGEA. "Given that the CWB is offering terms under a 'half-way' system that are unacceptable, the WGEA has no choice but to call for legislation to implement market choice for barley farmers as soon as possible and no later than August 1, 2008."

The WGEA cites the lack of a dispute resolution process as part of the problem in the inability to arrive at acceptable contract terms. "Without the complete deregulation of barley, and without the ability to arbitrate contract terms with the CWB, the industry is placed in an untenable position," says Sobkowich. "Even with complete deregulation we will still have a need to resolve disputes on many related issues in the transition period." The WGEA members feel it is important to address these issues in order to move forward in the contracting of malt barley.

"Our objective is to help make the industry more profitable - this includes farmers," added Sobkowich. "Within a competitive marketplace grain companies will be looking to maximize marketing opportunities, and look forward to working with their farmer customers in this regard."

The Western Grain Elevator Association is an association of seven farmer-owned, public and private grain businesses operating in Canada, which collectively handle in excess of 90% of western Canada's bulk grain exports. WGEA members own grain handling facilities throughout the country and at the ports of Prince Rupert, Vancouver, and Thunder Bay.

Contact Information

  • Western Grain Elevator Association
    Wade Sobkowich
    Executive Director
    (204) 942-6835
    (204) 943-4328 (FAX)
    Email: wgea@wgea.ca