Western Grain Elevator Association

Western Grain Elevator Association

June 20, 2011 15:36 ET

WGEA Responds on Future of the CWB

Grain Companies Prepared to Form Partnerships With CWB

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - June 20, 2011) - The Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) today responded to statements from the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) as to the role of grain handling companies in the transition to marketing choice for Prairie grain growers.

CWB chairman Allen Oberg stated in a June 16, 2011 speech that under the current monopoly system, grain handling companies are service providers or agents of the CWB, further stating that in an open market, they will become the CWB's competitors.

"The insinuation is that grain handling companies would not be interested in continuing to partner with the Canadian Wheat Board as suppliers of handling services," said Wade Sobkowich, Executive Director of the WGEA. "It's unfortunate that members of the WGEA have not yet been approached by the CWB to discuss maintaining its strong partnership in an open market. Grain companies would certainly be prepared to negotiate handling or marketing agreements with the CWB on standard commercial terms. Our members look forward to entering into discussions with the CWB to ensure an orderly transition to marketing choice in a way that is in the best interest of all participants, including producers."

Sobkowich adds that handling grains and oilseeds for third parties is commonplace in the grain handling system and would continue with marketing choice. "Grain companies currently offer handling services to third parties who do not own elevators or port terminals, many of whom are direct competitors. It makes good commercial sense for grain companies to provide services to the CWB, especially in circumstances where the volume of wheat and barley to be handled is significant."

The Western Grain Elevator Association is an association of seven farmer-owned, public, and private grain businesses operating in Canada, collectively handling over 90% of western Canada's bulk grain exports.

Contact Information

  • Western Grain Elevator Association
    Wade Sobkowich
    Executive Director
    (204) 942-6835