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Ritz Pledges $1.5M to Study Grain Transport System

Canadian Grain Industry Receives Support from Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

By Amanda Brodhagen,

The $1.5 million dollar investment will allow Pulse Canada to lead a collaborative project with the pulse, oilseed and grain industries. The study is aimed at addressing rail transport capacity issues facing prairie farmers who rely on the system to transport their crops to port.

Only days after the Grain Growers of Canada sent an open letter to federal agricultural minister Gerry Ritz,  frustrated over the persistent rail backlog preventing them from moving grain fast enough to port; Ritz has made a move that indicates that he is hearing farmers concerns. He announced today an investment of more than $1.5 million that will help grower organizations tackle inefficiencies in the country’s grain transport system.

"Our Government continues to work with all parts of the grain supply chain to strengthen our logistics system so that farmers can get their products to market in a timely manner. This project will help ensure the industry has the right tools and processes in place to achieve measurable improvements in supply chain performance, leading to greater profitability,” Ritz said in a news release.

The news is welcomed by Nick Sekulic, Chair for Pulse Canada, who says there is a need for more industry collaboration on transport and supply chain issues. “This initiative brings organizations representing wheat growers, canola growers, pulse growers and soy growers together with the trade to execute a plan aimed at improving the efficiency of our supply chain,” explains Sekulic.

Ritz’s industry solution couldn’t have come at a better time. A petition launched by Weber Commodities, which has been circulating among farmer circles, calls for Ottawa to improve efficiencies to the country’s grain transportation system. To date, over 400 people, presumably farmers have signed the petition.

Last year, Canadian farmers yielded a bumper crop, which the industry says is the new normal. Growers produced over twenty million more tonnes of grain in 2013, compared to 2012.


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