CALGARY, AB: The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association supports the legislative changes announced last week that will eliminate unnecessary regulatory costs in the Canadian grain handling system.
A key change is the elimination of mandatory Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) weighing and grading of grain when railcars are unloaded at port. In its place, shippers will be able to request weighing and grading by private companies accredited by the CGC, with provision for appeal to the CGC’s chief grain inspector.
Farmers will continue to have the right to have their grain officially inspected by the CGC if they are not satisfied with the grade provided on deliveries, whether at a primary elevator or by producer car at a port terminal.
The Wheat Growers also applaud changes in the legislation that will provide greater flexibility in how payments to farmers are secured. It may see the traditional bonding system replaced by an insurance system, which could provide farmers with better coverage at a lower overall cost.
While pleased with the amendments, the Wheat Growers would like to see further changes that increase flexibility and reduce costs. For example, the Wheat Growers maintain CGC inspection on offshore exports should be made optional. Currently, shipments to domestic grain users (including flour mills and maltsters) do not require CGC inspection. Shipments to the U.S. also do not require CGC inspection. Providing optional CGC inspection on offshore exports would give the industry a further opportunity to reduce costs, and ensure that the preferences of all customers are respected.
“Offshore customers should have the option to request CGC inspection or to use private inspectors,” says Kevin Bender, President of the Wheat Growers. “The choice should be theirs.”
The Wheat Growers would also like to see greater marketing flexibility introduced by allowing companies to buy grain from farmers on the basis of specifications, rather than official CGC grades. Such a move would create greater opportunities for farmers to grow a wider spectrum of varieties and allow farmers and companies a greater ability to pursue niche market opportunities.
“Overall the amendments represent a good first step toward modernizing the Canadian Grain Commission,” says Bender. “We will be seeking further improvements that give us greater flexibility to lower regulatory costs and create more market opportunities.”
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