Western Barley Growers Association

September 12, 2011 19:16 ET

Western Barley Growers Finds CWB Plebiscite Results Not Credible, Calls on the CWB to Move Forward

AIRDRIE, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2011) - "The Western Barley Growers Association (WBGA) sees the results of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) plebiscite as not being credible" says president, Brian Otto.

The CWB has consistently refused to ensure that the voters list accurately reflects active commercial producers in our industry. "In last fall's CWB director election, in phone calls I made to over 1100 producers, I discovered deceased producers, producers who had exited the industry, retired producers and so called interested parties, who were receiving ballots", states Otto. This is the same list that the CWB used for this plebiscite. The CWB makes this plebiscite irrelevant by its own inaction to make the voters list credible.

The CWB and this plebiscite cannot be trusted to fairly represent producer's views. "Every CWB survey and vote conducted in the last ten years has shown that barley producers want an open and commercial barley market. To ask barley producers to believe that 51 % of them voted in favour of retaining the single desk shows that this plebiscite had significant flaws and is not credible" comments Otto.

"I have consistently heard from commercial producers and young farmers that they need the ability to decide to whom and when they sell their grain, coupled with transparent pricing. They want a commercial system that will enable them to make decisions that meet the needs of their farm", says Otto. The WBGA feels that nothing could be farther from democracy than having one producer take away the right of another producer to choose how they market their grain.

As we move closer to August 1, 2012 the industry is preparing for an open and competitive market place. The new market environment will attract investment and opportunities for those who prepare for the future. The WBGA calls on the CWB to move forward. "My worst fear is that the CWB Board of Directors will continue to waste producer's money defending and promoting the single desk", states Otto. It is time for the CWB to move on, producers have.

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