Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 08, 2011 15:04 ET

Red Deer Grain Farmers and Business Community Need Marketing Freedom

RED DEER, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 8, 2011) - The Red Deer wheat and barley industry are well positioned to tap new business opportunities as soon as the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act is passed. In his remarks to the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce today, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz reiterated that marketing freedom will not only give wheat and barley farmers the ability to make their own business decisions, but that it will also trigger more economic benefits for the entire grain value chain and Alberta economy.

"Our Government intends to bring marketing freedom to Western Canadian wheat and barley farmers by August of next year giving every single farmer in Western Canada the freedom to choose the timing, buyer and price that suits their business plan," said Minister Ritz. "An open grain market will attract investment, encourage innovation, create value-added jobs, and build a stronger economy not only here in Red Deer, but right across Western Canada."

The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act will give Western Canadian farmers the right to sell their wheat, durum and barley as they choose, whether that's individually or through a voluntary Canadian Wheat Board. Last week, the legislative committee passed the bill sending it back to the House of Commons for Third Reading.

"A top priority for our Government is the economy, in which agriculture plays a vital role," said Minister Ritz. "The Red Deer grain industry already contributes significantly to Alberta's economy, but the true economic potential and entrepreneurial energy of the area will be unleashed once wheat and barley farmers have marketing freedom."

Minister Ritz urged Directors of the Canadian Wheat Board to work cooperatively in the best interests of all farmers and CWB staff by focusing more time and resources on making sure the voluntary wheat board has the best possible opportunity to succeed.

Working with Western Canadian grain farmers, their organizations and provincial partners, the Harper Government is leading an orderly transition to market freedom which includes a voluntary Canadian Wheat Board as part of an open and competitive grain market.

The Alberta agriculture and food industry brought $9 billion to the farm gate in total farm cash receipts last year. The industry generated $6.7 billion in exports and employed 70, 000 Albertans.

Contact Information

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

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