The Canadian Wheat Board

The Canadian Wheat Board

January 29, 2008 07:00 ET

CWB Eager to Discuss CashPlus at Minister's Barley Meeting

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Jan. 29, 2008) - CWB representatives said today they are eager to address outstanding issues about the new barley program, CashPlus, at Minister Gerry Ritz's barley meeting, to be held later this morning in Ottawa.

"We think CashPlus is an excellent way to protect farmers' interests in the malting barley market as well as to address the operational concerns of industry," said CWB President and CEO Greg Arason, who is in Ottawa for today's meeting, along with Chief Operating Officer Ward Wiesensel and Government Relations Director Avis Gray.

Arason noted that the CashPlus program has the support of the board of directors because it retains single desk premiums while giving farmers more choice as to when and how they price their malting barley. It also conforms to existing legislation.

"CashPlus was developed specifically to deal with issues that arose from the kind of uncertainty that the industry faced in the spring and summer of 2007," Arason said. "Barley producers with whom we've talked have generally expressed interest and would like to be given the chance to use this program."

Arason said the CWB is pleased to meet with various stakeholders, including the Minister, and will be there to listen, clarify aspects of the CashPlus program and gather information.

"We'll take what we hear back to the board table," he said. The CWB board of directors is heading into a strategic planning session at its regularly scheduled board meeting later this week.

Controlled by western Canadian farmers, the CWB is the largest wheat and barley marketer in the world. One of Canada's biggest exporters, the Winnipeg-based company sells grain to over 70 countries and returns all sales revenue, less marketing costs, to Prairie farmers.

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