Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has confirmed the Conservative Government's intentions to put and end to the single desk marketing powers of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).
"Our Government is supporting the grain sector through our commitment to marketing freedom for wheat and barley growers in western Canada," Minister Ritz said in a news release highlighting his comments made at the Grain Growers of Canada summer meeting in Winnipeg.
"We know that grain farmers will be able to make their marketing choices based on what is best for their own business, and opening up the market will attract investment, encourage innovation, create value-added jobs and build a stronger economy."
Currently, barley and wheat grown in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the Peace River region of British Columbia must be marketed through the CWB's single desk if destined for export or domestic human consumption. Wheat grown elsewhere in Canada does not fall under the CWB's jurisdiction.
Ritz said all farmers across the country should be able to position their businesses to capture the marketing opportunities open to them.
Canada's recently elected majority Conservative government has pledged to introduce legislation this fall that would end the CWB's single desk for the marketing of western Canadian wheat and barley by August 2012.
Tuesday, the CWB announced plans of its own to hold a referendum for farmers to determine the future of the organization themselves.
A third party group, the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board, also recently filed papers with the Federal Court seeking a judicial review of the government's plans for the CWB.
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