Producer meeting calls for return of Canadian Wheat Board

A group of producers hopes to reverse a decision made nearly five years ago: the termination of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly on wheat and export barley sales.

A former CWB director and other board supporters met Feb. 10 in Swan River, Man., where more than 50 producers called on the federal government to re-establish the CWB single desk.

“The fact a farm meeting of this size could unanimously pass this resolution is a strong indication to Ottawa that farmers are now feeling the loss of the CWB in their pocketbooks,” said Kyle Korneychuk, who farms near Pelly, Sask., and is the spokesperson for the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance.

In a release, the CWBA said the Conservative government’s decision to eliminate the single desk has cost prairie producers billions in lost revenue, based on a study by University of Saskatchewan agricultural economist Richard Gray.

Ken Sigurdson, a Swan River producer, said when the CWB was in place producers captured 90 percent of the port price.

“Now without the single-desk farmers are only receiving between 40-60 percent of the port price for their wheat.”

Breaking it down to a region, farmers in Manitoba’s Swan River Valley lost $70 million in the last two years, Sigurdson said.

The decades-long controversy over the CWB and single desk selling came to an end last year, when the federal government finalized the sale of CWB assets.

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