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Sask Wheat submits response to the Canada Grain Act Review

Saskatoon - The Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat) has made its submission on behalf of Saskatchewan’s wheat producers to the review of the Canada Grain Act (CGA) and operations of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). CLICK HERE to read the submission.

“Sask Wheat welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on a critical act that directly impacts Saskatchewan’s wheat farmers,” said Sask Wheat Chair Brett Halstead. “It is vital that the review leads to a strengthening of Canada’s quality assurance system so it benefits the viability of profitably growing wheat in Canada. Maintaining the reputation of the Canadian brand and increasing the transparency of market information will allow Canada’s wheat farmers to seize opportunities in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.”

In preparation for the CGA review, Sask Wheat commissioned two reports to guide producers through the key topics being reviewed. The first report was a guide to potential changes to the CGA and their implications for Saskatchewan grain producers’ activities and economics. The second report is a comprehensive overview of data gaps and the lack of transparency in grain markets and the solutions required to put producers on an equal footing when planning their cropping decisions and marketing their crops. Both reports are available on the Sask Wheat website and producers are encouraged to review them before making their own submissions to the review.

The key recommendations of Sask Wheat’s submission include:

CGC Mandate and Governance - Sask Wheat believes it is vital that the CGC’s mandate continues to be to work “in the interests of the grain producers.” Sask Wheat is supportive of the current Commissioner governance model of the CGC with producer representation at the Commissioner level. 

Outward Inspection - As part of protecting the Canadian brand, Sask Wheat is in favour of mandatory outward inspection remaining as a function performed by the CGC. Moving to a system of accredited third-party inspection would create significant risks to the Canadian brand. 

Market Transparency - Improving market transparency is a key issue for farmers. Sask Wheat strongly believes that Canadian farmers need timely access to sales and export data. Through the CGA, grain companies should be legislated to report daily and weekly sales data over a specified size to the CGC. 

Sask Wheat is supportive of reviewing the CGA as a comprehensive review of the Act has not been completed in 50 years. However, it is crucial for a thorough analysis to be completed, including a benefit-cost analysis, as part of the review and for further consultations to occur once this review is completed and prior to recommendations being brought forward for consideration. Further analysis by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the CGC will ensure any proposed changes that arise from the review do not harm Canada’s quality assurance system, the Canadian brand, or the competitive position of Canadian farmers.

The Sask Wheat positions on the key areas of review are summarized in the attached backgrounder. Producers are encouraged to add their submissions to the review, which is closing on April 30.

Source : saskwheat

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