Sale of Abandoned Grain Elevators

Res #: 1-02A
Number: 1
Year: 2002
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Matters Pertaining to SARM

Resolution 1-02A 

WHEREAS, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and the other major grain companies are embarking on a program to eliminate the country elevator system and, as such, force the farmers to haul to terminals at the major centers; and

WHEREAS, in a number of cases these companies try to sell these facilities with a clause that prohibits them from being used for commercial purposes; and

WHEREAS, this action will reduce traffic to the smaller rural communities, erode their tax base, and reduce the number of jobs in these communities which, in all probability, will carry a negative economic impact on the entire community in addition to the other local businesses; and

WHEREAS, this action will increase transportation costs for the farmers shipping to these larger facilities, as well as increasing highway maintenance costs that will effect all residents of the Province;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the SARM membership encourage Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and the other major grain companies to permit the sale of their abandoned grain elevators for commercial purposes.

Response from Saskatchewan Wheat Pool:

I am pleased to advise you the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool has led the way on this initiative. We were the first grain company in western Canada to implement a formal program for selling redundant elevator facilities. We are pleased with the overwhelming success of our efforts.

Since 1998, the Pool has sold about 200 facilities to members, customers and community groups who are using the elevators for commercial businesses, storage or heritage purposes. We have accomplishes this through both a tendering process, and by utilizing the services of Re/Max Realty. We have heard from many local government leaders, Pool members and customers who are excited about the opportunity to own an elevator – and to work with us to preserve an important symbol to their community.

The Pool has a long history of contributing to the economic health and social fabric of Saskatchewan, as we have demonstrated through our elevator sales program. Further, our investment in renewing our grain handling, merchandising and agri-products network is the most significant capital investment mad by any one grain company in western Canada. our new facilities have a life span of 60 years, which demonstrates our belief in the long-term future of agriculture, as well as our commitment to today's farmers and to those who will enter the industry in the future. While the Pool did not set the wheels in motion that have necessitated change in grain-handling sector, and we have responded in a manner that will deliver ongoing benefits to our members, producers and customers for years to come. That's a legacy of which we should all be proud.

The Pool has welcomed the opportunity to work with SARM on issues of mutual concern in the past and, I assure you, this is a relationship we would like to continue. Like the Pool, yours is an organization the represents the views of the grassroots. Should you require further information on our elevator sales program, please contact Mr. Barry Coulling.