Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 06, 2011 15:21 ET

Marketing Freedom for Western Grain Farmers on Horizon

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 6, 2011) - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz appeared before a Senate Committee today to reinforce the importance of passing the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act before year's end. Minister Ritz addressed the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry on the need for timely passage of Bill C-18 in order to give Western Canadian grain farmers the rights they deserve while providing stability in the marketplace.

"A strong marketplace is where our farmers can make the most of their own business and freely decide how to market the crop they pay to plant, take months to grow and tirelessly harvest," said Agriculture Minister Ritz. "An open grains market will unleash the true economic potential and entrepreneurial energy of the Western Canadian grain sector and build a stronger economy for all Canadians."

Once the Committee has completed its review, C-18 will return to the Senate for report stage. Once C-18 receives Royal Assent, farmers, grain companies and the Canadian Wheat Board will immediately be allowed to forward contract for the delivery of grain after August 1, 2012. The Canadian Wheat Board will remain in place as a voluntary marketing option for farmers and will continue to be supported by the federal Government as it transitions to full private ownership.

"Western Canadian farmers must have the freedom to market wheat and barley in the best interest of their individual farms," said Minister Ritz. "Our Government remains committed to providing Western Canadian grain farmers with the rights they deserve while ensuring the transition to an open market is as smooth as possible."

The Government's top priority remains the economy, and Canada's agriculture industry plays an important role in creating jobs and strengthening our economy. The Government will continue to work with Western Canadian grain farmers, their organizations, provincial partners and the entire grain supply chain on an orderly transition to marketing freedom.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz