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CGC should be involved in standardizing grain contracts

Participants at last week's Canada Grain Act Summit covered a lot of topics from the mandate of the Canadian Grain Commission to issues around delivery contracts and market information.

The event brought together producers, industry and government representatives from across the prairies.

The President of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) Ian Boxall says one thing everyone agrees on is that the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) must focus on following its mandate of protecting producers.

"We've talked about grain contracts for a long time. That's part of producer protection. I think that you've heard me say, that I believe the CGC has a role to play in that being the umbrella to get us all at the table. So I think that's something that is next steps that we'll continue to push for. Then on sales reporting data and export data, the governments made it easy for the CGC to get us the info. They've set up the supply chain office, they understand that there's issues within our supply chain in Canada. They've set up a whole office under Transport Canada that could get the information to the CGC to get it to us."

Brett Halstead, chair of Sask Wheat says while farm groups have raised the issue of standardized grain contracts for years, there's been very little progress made.

"To get a standardized contract, you can't talk to one company, you need to talk to the whole bunch of them. There's other standardized contracts out there. You buy an auto or a piece of farm equipment, they're standardized contracts."

Participants in the meeting had a chance to hear about the American and Australian systems and how they work.

Halstead noted that Australia has standardized contracts for grain purchases and sales.

"Some of the same companies that are in Canada are also in Australia, so this isn't something foreign to them. It isn't something that's not going to allow them to be protected."

Halstead says they feel that as a regulator the CGC can help get everyone to the table.

The CGC's Assistant Chief Commissioner Patty Rosher was also in attendance to hear producer views and concerns.

The Canada Grain Act Summit was co-hosted by Sask Wheat and APAS.

Source : Pembinavalley online

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