For Immediate Release
The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is actively supporting the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).
At the SARM Annual Convention in March 2006, delegates passed a resolution stating that “SARM lobby the federal government to continue its financial support of the government guarantees and single desk selling of the Canadian Wheat Board.” SARM is encouraging the federal government to look to the many benefits of the CWB before considering any possible changes.
“The CWB provides farmers with the vehicles they need to compete on the world market,” said SARM president David Marit. “Through the single desk, government guarantees and product branding, the CWB offers producers stability, security and credibility.
Various independent reports have estimated the value of the single desk CWB for western Canadian wheat and barley producers to be between $355 and $405 million annually. Initial payments and government guarantees provide market protection and ensure more money comes back to the producer.
Another benefit is the quality customer service the CWB offers foreign buyers, which has played a role in creating a high quality brand for Canadian grains. The board also administers producer cars, which save producers approximately $10 per tonne on the cost of shipping grain to market.
SARM has lobbied the federal government in support of the CWB in its current form and will be holding an open forum at their upcoming midterm convention in November to further discuss this issue.
“The intentions of the federal government to move towards marketing choice have made this a contentious issue that has intensified over the past few months,” said Marit. “We hope that Minister Strahl seriously considers how much benefit the current CWB provides to farmers before making a decision that will impact farm income for a long time to come,” said Marit.
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