In spite of the controversy that has surrounded the issue, Western Canadian farmers now have the freedom to sell their wheat and barley on the open market and the federal government believes that’s a good thing. Garry Breitkreuz, Member of Parliament for Yorkton-Melville joined in the chorus of celebration to mark the historic announcement made Aug. 1, 2012, in Kindersley.
“Aug. 1, 2012 marks a new beginning for Western Canada,” says Breitkreuz. “After seven decades of monopoly, marketing freedom has arrived for Western Canadian wheat, barley and durum producers. For the first time since the Second World War, farmers enjoy the freedom to choose the timing, the buyer and the price that best suits their bottom line.”
The passage of the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act paved the way for Western Canadian grain farmers to finally have marketing freedom. With the start of the new crop year on Aug. 1, the Act fully came into effect. Farmers are now free to sell their wheat and barley to any buyer as they see fit, including the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).
“The Wheat Board is working with us to continue as a strong marketing option for farmers and is poised to compete for farmers’ business in this new era of marketing freedom,” adds Breitkreuz.
The federal government is working with its provincial counterparts, producer groups, the CWB and the entire value chain to ensure an orderly transition to an open and competitive Canadian grain market.
“Farmers know how to run their own businesses, and as of Aug. 1, they now have the freedom to do so,” concludes Breitkreuz.
“Our Government has fulfilled our longstanding commitment to give Western farmers the marketing freedom they want and deserve. Thanks to the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, our farmers can finally choose how they market their own crops.”
The federal government’s top priority continues to be the economy, and the agriculture industry plays an important role in creating jobs and keeping the economy strong. Canada is the world’s fifth-largest exporter of agriculture and food products, with last year’s exports hitting an all-time high of more than $40 billion.
Additional information on marketing freedom can be found at www.agr.gc.ca/freedom.