Wheat Growers Denounce Nuisance Court Challenges

CALGARY, AB: The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association is disappointed that certain groups continue to use the courts in a futile effort to overturn the forthcoming open market in wheat and barley.

“Most farmers have moved on and are eagerly embracing the opportunities that lie ahead under an open market,” says Kevin Bender, President of the Wheat Growers. “It is disappointing that there are still those who continue to fight a battle that is clearly lost.”

The Wheat Growers note the multitude of court challenges imposes real costs on farmers by creating needless uncertainty in the marketplace.

“Foreign customers may not realize these lawsuits are being launched primarily for political purposes and have little prospect of success,” says Mike Bast, Wheat Grower director. “The uncertainty they create may cause some customers to look elsewhere for supplies.”

While the possibility of the open market being overturned is remote, the Wheat Growers fear that buyers are reducing bids on forward contracts to farmers to reflect the risk, or are otherwise restricting their forward purchases until all legal doubt is removed. Investors may also be delaying plans to build new processing facilities or research capability on the prairies until all legal challenges are put to rest.

The Wheat Growers note the irony in the latest legal challenge of using the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in an attempt to take away the marketing freedom that prairie farmers will soon enjoy.

“The Charter is meant to guarantee and protect the freedoms of individuals,” says Bast. “I do not see how denying me the ability to sell my grain to a buyer of my choice would protect my individual freedom.” He adds, “Farmers in Ontario are free to sell their wheat and barley to whomever they please. I should be treated equally.”

The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, enacted in December, will give all prairie farmers the freedom to sell their own wheat and barley directly to any buyer for the first time in almost seven decades, starting August 1, 2012.

“It’s time to move on,” says Bender. “We urge all players in the marketplace to ignore the noise and make plans to capitalize on the exciting opportunities that an open market will bring.”

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.

For More Information Contact:

Kevin Bender, President


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