Ontario grain group leaves national organization

Grain Farmers of Ontario has dropped out of Grain Growers of Canada.

The Ontario organization, which represents about 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers in the province, cited a lack of representation in the national policy group.

GFO announced its withdrawal in a Feb. 7 news release.

“The voice of grain farmers is needed at national policy discussions in many areas, however at this time, our farmer-members voices are not being represented in key areas effectively through GGC” the statement said.

GGC was responsible for lobbying the federal government in Ottawa, but GFO had concerns key advocacy work “would be hampered or undermined by conflicting GGC narrative.”

The Ontario organization, headquartered in Guelph, said in a statement it was, “unable to overlook issues with the structure of the organization and personality conflicts” and was, “concerned with governance and regulation compliance.”

GFO now plans to lobby the federal government on its own behalf, having a number of people already registered to do so in Ottawa, the organization said.

Jeff Nielsen, chair of GGC, said in a statement that he promised to continue advocating for all grain growers across the province.

“I would also like to reiterate to all grain farmers and member groups that the challenges you face are not uniquely your own; they belong to all of us as an industry,” said the statement. “From business risk management programs and market access to the carbon levy, GGC is more united than ever in its efforts to ensure that our members’ priorities shape the national agenda.”

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