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Grain marketing goes on-line

A successful transaction involving 10,000 bushels was exactly what a new Regina on-line grain marketing company was looking for on its first day of business.

Still, Chad Blenkin, vice-president of marketing for CropLinkCanada Ltd., sounded amazed that it worked so quickly. The membership-based system allows prairie producers, grain companies and truckers to find each other.

“By 3 p.m. (the load) was being delivered from Wolseley to Regina,” he said, referring to the first transaction that took place within 48 hours of the company going on-line.

The company has been open since Sept. 4. It’s the brainchild of Aaron Langlois, a certified grain buyer who is the company’s vice-president of client relations, and Blenkin, who also owns a media company.

Langlois spent 11 years working for SaskCan Pulse and Pioneer Grain. The countless hours he spent tracking down product got him thinking about a better way to do that.

After he and Blenkin teamed up on another venture, they researched how grain could be marketed and moved more effectively. They came up with CropLinkCanada.

Those who want to use the company pay annual membership fees.

Producers enter the pulse and special crops they have for sale on the website. Grain companies can log in and see what’s available for purchase. Both can also access truckers to move the commodities.

Blenkin likens it to the way real estate agents use multiple listing services.

Contact can be made either by phone, fax or on-line to conclude transactions.

There are no commissions or broker fees to pay and the memberships are $150 per year for farmers and $500 per year for grain companies and trucking firms.

“We wanted to make it affordable,” said Blenkin.

The company was financed by several Saskatchewan-based private investors and employs four people.

The website is www.croplink.ca.

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