A Call for True Free and Fair Trade
CALGARY, AB: For over two years, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers (WCWG) have worked with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and US Wheat Associates (USWA) and have called for equality in Canadian grain grading. Canadian wheat moving south across the border receives the appropriate grading and pricing. American grain moving north is only graded as feed, regardless of the actual quality.
It is estimated that over 3 million tonnes of wheat is produced in the US within 50 miles of a Canadian elevator. We want access to competitive markets, but if we do not treat American farmers fairly, Canadian farmers will not be treated fairly. While US farmers export an estimated 53,000 tonnes to Canada annually, at potential risk is the over 3.3 million tonnes of Canadian wheat exported to the US annually.
“This is easily resolved by our federal government, but Minister MacAulay has not brought this issue forward”, stated Levi Wood, President. “Canadian farmers need access to the US market in order to force competitiveness on our grain traders and railways.”
WCWG will be surveying its members after the 2018 growing season and presenting the results and solutions to the federal government by year end. Given the current state of the NAFTA negotiations, initiating the easy fixes should be a good starting point for our Canadian officials. As Canada advocates for open and free trade, we need to walk the talk.
“This inequality is not acceptable and will only bring harm to Canadian wheat farmers. Wheat farmers trade in the global market. If we are not going to treat our trading partners fairly, we cannot expect to be treated fairly in return. The WCWG calls upon the Canadian government to recognize this failure of the grading system and swiftly resolve this issue”, closed Wood.
About the Wheat Growers:
Founded in 1970, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association is a voluntary farmer-run advocacy organization dedicated to developing public policy solutions that strengthen the profitability and sustainability of farming, and the agricultural industry as a whole. For more information, please visit wheatgrowers.ca.