Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson visited a New Norway farm last Thursday to mark the first anniversary of marketing freedom for Western Canadian grain farmers.
Sorenson, the new minister of state (finance) presented findings from a recent Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) survey, which shows that Western Canada’s grain farmers and Prairie agri-businesses have seen “an overwhelmingly positive impact” from being able to market their wheat and barley independent of the former single desk.
“A year ago today, our government opened the door to marketing freedom for wheat and barley farmers in Alberta,” Sorenson said in a news release. “We’re seeing Canadian grain farmers making more money from the marketplace than ever before, and today we have more solid evidence that marketing freedom has strengthened our farm businesses in the first year.”
The CFIB study conducted over the first crop year of marketing freedom found that the vast majority of agri-businesses (81 per cent) were positively impacted by marketing freedom. More than three-quarters said they had greater control of the decision-making for their products and two-thirds said marketing freedom has delivered better market signals, better access to competitive prices, and increased cash flow.
“Our most recent survey shows producers are benefiting from the complete control to choose when and where they sell their wheat and barley,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president, Prairie and agri-business. “One producer told me he now has better cash flow, improved logistics control and the sky didn’t fall, which seems to reflect the predominant sentiment among Western grain growers.”