Internacional (Marketwired, 01 de Agosto de 2013) Today, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Marilyn Braun-Pollon, Vice-President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), marked the one-year anniversary of marketing freedom for Western Canadian grain farmers. They unveiled the findings from a recent CFIB survey which shows that Western Canada's grain farmers and Prairie agri-businesses have seen an overwhelmingly positive impact from being able to market their wheat and barley independent of the former single desk. "One year ago today our Government delivered on our longstanding promise to give western Canadian grain farmers the marketing freedom they wanted and deserved," said Minister Ritz. "Western Canadian grain farmers have made marketing freedom work for our industry and our economy. Today, we have more solid evidence that marketing freedom has strengthened our farm businesses in the first year."
The CFIB study conducted over the first crop year of marketing freedom found that the vast majority of agri-businesses (81%) were positively impacted by marketing freedom. More than three-quarters said they had greater control of the decision-making for their products and two-thirds said marketing freedom has delivered better market signals, better access to competitive prices and increased cash flow.
"Our most recent survey shows producers are benefiting from the complete control to choose when and where they sell their wheat and barley. One producer told me he now has better cash flow, improved logistics control and the sky didn't fall, which seems to reflect the predominant sentiment among Western grain growers," said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB's Vice-President, Prairie and Agri-business.
Canadian grain farmers have a bright future in an open market where they are able to respond to market demands by being innovative with their farming and processing practices, and where they will be rewarded with premium returns. The Government continues to pursue an ambitious pro-trade plan, with 70% of the wheat grown in Canada being shipped to export markets around the world. Growing Forward 2 is investing $3 billion over five years in cost-shared strategic initiatives for sector innovation, competitiveness and market development. These strategic investments will help grow the industry and drive the country's economic expansion.
For more information on marketing freedom please visit the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers page at www.agr.gc.ca/marketingfreedom.
For the complete survey results, visit the CFIB's web page at www.cfib.ca.
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The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act came into force on December 15 2011. On August 1, 2012, the Canadian Wheat Board (Interim Operations) Act was enabled and the Canadian Wheat Board Act repealed, which allowed Western grain farmers the freedom to make their own business decisions. By unleashing the sector's economic potential and entrepreneurial energy, the open grain market continues to usher in a new era of innovation and growth for Western Canada's grain industry, helping attract investment, encourage innovation, create value-added jobs and build a stronger economy.
Marketing Freedom is an important part of the Government's comprehensive plan to strengthen and modernize Canada's grain industry, including: the Canadian Grain Commission reform; introduction of railway legislation; a review of the variety registration system to cut down on red tape for farmers; and a $97 million investment in the Canadian Wheat Alliance in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan and the National Research Council.
Last year, Western wheat and barley farmers earned up to 20 per cent more from the marketplace than in 2011. That's thanks to seven percent increase in wheat prices in the first year of marketing freedom, and a 23 per cent increase in barley prices.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz