Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 28, 2007 12:43 ET

AAFC: Barley Producers Choose Marketing Choice

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 28, 2007) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today announced that Canada's New Government has listened, and will deliver, to Western Canadian barley producers who voted in favour of marketing choice.

A clear majority of the farmers who cast votes in the barley plebiscite indicated they wanted to end the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly on barley and have the freedom to market their own product.

"We have delivered on our promise to give farmers a voice on the future of barley marketing in Western Canada," said Minister Strahl. "Their decision in favour of marketing choice is clear and we intend to give them that opportunity in the coming crop year."

Minister Strahl said that nearly 30,000 producers participated in the plebiscite and a majority has provided the Government with a mandate to move ahead.

"Over 60 percent of producers want to decide how to market their own product. We will now begin work on the appropriate amendments to Canadian Wheat Board regulations to remove barley from the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly," said Minister Strahl.

"We will move forward decisively because producers and the sector need clarity and market certainty. I will be consulting with the directors of the Canadian Wheat Board about the changes we will be making," said Minister Strahl. "It is the Government's intention that marketing choice for Western Canada's barley growers - including an option to continue to sell to the Canadian Wheat Board - will be reality by August 1 of this year."

For the results and more information on marketing choice, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/cwb.

BACKGROUNDER

PLEBISCITE RESULTS

The plebiscite on barley was designed as a broadly based consultation with farmers, giving them the opportunity to express their opinions on how they would like to market barley in the future.

Farmers were asked to select one of the following three options on the ballot.

1). The Canadian Wheat Board should retain the single desk for the marketing of barley into domestic human consumption and export markets.

2). I would like the option to market my barley to the Canadian Wheat Board or any other domestic or foreign buyer.

3). The Canadian Wheat Board should not have a role in the marketing of barley.

The results, as attested by the international professional services firm KPMG:



Barley Plebiscite Results

------------------------------------------------------------------
MB SK AB BC Overall
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Total votes cast 3,703 15,327 9,881 156 29,067
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Percent of votes
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Retain single desk 50.6 45.1 21.4 42.3 37.8
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Prefer option to
market to CWB
or other buyer
of my choice 34.6 42.1 63.4 49.4 48.4
-------------------------------------------------------------------
CWB should have no
role in marketing
barley 14.8 12.8 15.2 8.3 13.8
-------------------------------------------------------------------


The Government of Canada will now begin work on the necessary amendments to the Canadian Wheat Board regulations to remove barley from the CWB's single desk authority.

It is the Government's intention that marketing choice for Western Canada's barley growers will be a reality by August 1, 2007.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Minister Strahl's Office
    Conrad Bellehumeur
    Director of Communications
    613-759-1059