Wheat Board Confident They’re A Good Marketing Option
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
It’s the beginning of a new marketing era for Western Canadian grain farmers, the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly has officially ended and now for the first time in Canadian history, grain farmers have marketing freedom. With the marketing landscape forever changed, the CWB has revamped their look revealing a new logo and rolled out a comprehensive business model.
"We're ready for this new environment" says Ian White, CWB president and CEO.
The CWB made their new identity public yesterday at a news conference where they set the tone heading into a new marketing era. Their new logo that they unveiled is symbolic, featuring three key colours – green for nature, blue to represent the Prairie sky and gold to reflect harvest with rays of the rising sun. Along with their refurbished look, the CWB announced a new grain handling partner – Louis Dreyfus, one of the world’s largest grain companies with 10 terminals across Canada where farmers can conveniently deliver their grain to the CWB.
With the crop year ending and a new one beginning August 1, 2012, the CWB was pleased to report that their estimated return to farmers from last year’s sales estimated at $6.3 billon, exporting roughly 18.1 MT in total between wheat, durum and barley. The new marketing year has begun and the CWB reported that farmers have already started to sign up, noting that many farmers, although not accustomed to signing up this early on in the season that they will have to get accustomed to contracting forward.
"We expect a very substantial sign-up," White said. "We had said that we think somewhere in the range of 30% to 40% of the wheat crops would be signed to the CWB pools, and we certainly still expect that sort of tonnage."
“We understand that it’s an uncertain time, that change has occurred and is occurring and we are confident that CWB can provide farmers with a good marketing option and help them get through these uncertain times” says White.
The CWB maintains that they are there to be a business partner for farmers and that there is still an advantage to selling through the board. It will be interesting to see the numbers come in, when the year ends July 31 2013. Only at this time will it become clear what percentage of farmers will continue to do business through the CWB.