Does anybody remember that one of the promises of so-called marketing freedom was that farmers would have more choice in who they sell their grain to?Putting up barriers

Of course the customers who actually buy grain only want it in ship-load lots.  That means the production from 30,000 or so acres, reliably delivered in exactly consistent lots every week.

Selling directly to customers like that is just beyond the ability of any farm in western Canada which is why farmers set up a collective sales department called the Canadian Wheat Board to cut out the middlemen of the private trade.

Marketing freedom was really just a well advertised myth for the gullible.  Since the majority of farmers are neither stupid nor gullible, Minister Ritz had to defy the law and deny farmers a vote on killing their single desk wheat board.

As a result farmers have lost the collective ability to sell directly to end use customers they had with the single desk Wheat Board and now have no choice in who they sell too.  It is either one of the giant multinationals or nothing.

Last week’s news that two of the largest farmer-owned inland terminals are up for sale means farmers will have even less choice in who handles their grain on the prairies much less markets it.

The proposed sale of Weyburn Inland Terminal in Saskatchewan and the actual sale of Lethbridge Terminal Ltd. in Alberta to giant Swiss commodity firm Glencore (which had earlier bought up the cooperative Pool elevator system farmers had built) are another step in destroying over 100 years of careful building by western farmers designed to keep control of their product from farm gate to end use customers.

Weyburn Inland Terminal

Weyburn Inland Terminal

The farmer controlled single desk Canadian Wheat Board sold directly to over 70 countries around the world on behalf of farmers.  Now western farmers are forced to give up ownership of their grain as soon as it hits the pit in one of the inland terminals controlled by giant foreign companies who now take the profits.

Comments are closed.