bizarro_world-baseball(November 23, 2015)  I suppose it had to happen sooner or later.  From the Bizzaro world of the Frontier Center, where black is white and up is down, comes the absurd claim that Canada’s grain grading system is the laughing stock of the world.  This claim, apparently designed to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) was recently published in the National/Financial Post, one of Canada’s largest privately subsidized newspapers.  It comes from another largely anonymous group claiming to represent farmers calling itself the “North American Grain Grading Group.”

Now the fact is Canada has long been uniquely successful in the world grain trade by staking out its niche as the producer of the highest quality milling wheats, durum wheats, and human consumption barley in the world.  However, it was not long after the Harper government killed the Canadian Wheat Board that our former customers, like China and Japan, started to publically complain that the reliable delivery of high quality grain was no longer happening.

Instead of apologizing to western farmers for cheer-leading the greatest grain robbery in Canadian history, the commentators and Astroturf groups that pushed to kill the CWB are now pushing to kill our high quality oriented grain grading system.  That would be the system which our customers are complaining is no longer being enforced now that the CWB is gone.

This in spite of the fact the Frontier Center commentary acknowledges that the system they helped to create with the killing the CWB allows “global grain buyers to snap up downgraded Canadian grain and turn around and sell it – at a much higher price – to millers around the world.”  By blaming our grading system they may hope to spread doubt this is really the private trade using its new market power to cheat farmers of the full value of their high quality wheat.


Fear, uncertainty, doubt

Once again we have short-sighted FUD being sown about one of our strengths, in this case the Canadian Grain Commission and our high quality oriented grain grading system.

This is foolish enough, but when you consider that this Canadian quality assurance system evolved to overcome our comparative disadvantages of climate, distance to deep water ports, and long ocean freight distances, the argument to dismantle it seems self-destructive at best.

Here in Alberta the adults are at last in charge and Canadians recently voted to throw the wreckers and book-burners out of Ottawa.  Here’s hoping that the new administration in Ottawa has the intellectual heft to see this call by the Frontier Center and its friends for what it is:  just a small group (I’m betting they have fewer than the 130 members admitted to by the Western Barley Growers Association in court documents) making the case for a private grain trade that no longer has any credibility with either farmers or our international customers.

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