(Pelly, Sk., March 31, 2014)  Agriculture Minister Ritz should have attended the University of Saskatchewan Grain Summit organized by several prominent Saskatchewan agricultural and business economists observed Kyle Korneychuk, spokesperson for the CWBA, a prairie wide farm group.

“This was a golden opportunity for Ritz to see objective evidence about the chaos in western grain marketing and understand why this situation is the largest grain robbery by private grain companies in Canadian history,” Korneychuk said.

At the conference, eminent Agricultural Economist Richard Gray observed that the money missing from the western economy has not evaporated; the majority is flowing into the pockets of the grain companies through the basis they set.

“This confirms both the CWBA analysis and that of another conference presenter with perhaps the deepest experience in grain marketing, Ian McCreary, whose presentation showed that last week the grain companies were making excess profits in excess of $100 per metric tonne.  So it is safe to say that on grain contracted since mid October, the excess profits taken by the grain companies have ranged between $106 to over $170 per metric tonne.”

Korneychuk went on to say “the solid data farmers see every day is that we are now getting about 40% of the port price while the Wheat Board’s single-desk reliably, year after year, returned better than 90% of the port price for wheat to every wheat producer.”

“Quorum Corporation’s presentation confirmed this was not simply a ‘rail only’ problem.  Quorum has a reputation for producing objective research and the fact that rail shipments to Vancouver are only 2% lower than last year demonstrates the grain companies are simply using a small car shortfall as a screen for the obscene profits they are taking at the expense of farmers” said Korneychuk.

“Essentially all the presenters came to the conclusion that a regulatory authority to organize and direct both the railways and grain companies to optimize logistical efficiency was the only option” said Korneychuk who went on to note “one of the most solution-oriented presentations started from the acknowledgement that the single-desk Canadian Wheat Board had set the gold standard for managing the marketing of western Canada’s grain.”

“To my mind,” Korneychuk said, “this is another way of saying the system created by Ottawa  now allows two oligopolies, the railways and the private grain companies, to steal the value of farmers’ grain from them.”

“In light of the information presented to the Grain Summit, it is plain to me that Minister Ritz’s announcement about new legislation on transportation demonstrates he is living in a reality free zone.  If Ritz had jetted in from Ottawa a day earlier he could have served farmers better by coming to the Grain Summit and learning something beyond what his echo-chamber cheerleaders tell him”  Korneychuk concluded.

For further information:
Sources for CWBA News Release March 31 2014

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One comment

  1. Quote “.. this situation is the largest grain robbery by private grain companies in Canadian history…”

    That’s the point, so there’s no reason for Ritz to attend. “CPC/Alliance/Reform – Money Pals” are the winners.