2012 will go down as a year of major change in grain marketing in western Canada, with the end of the CWB’s marketing monopoly, along with legislative changes to the Canadian Grain Commission and the sale of Canada’s largest grain handler, Viterra.
“It’s been a reasonably smooth transition (away from the CWB single desk), from what I’m hearing from producers,” says Doug Chorney. “There have obviously been opportunities for producers this year, with high prices, to capture a lot of value in the market place. For that reason, the transition has seemed fairly smooth for most. Many have embraced the change because of the flexibility it has given them in marketing their cereals.”
He says the changes have also forced grain industry stakeholders to re-evaluate their operations.
“Not just producers, but the grain industry is visiting how they make decisions and how they function. That’s created some challenges, but has opened people’s eyes to opportunities they may not have realized were possible,” says Chorney. “You’re still hearing producers who have great regret that this change has come, but other producers are quite welcoming and accepting of the change.”
The long-term impact has yet to be determined, he says.
“With high commodity prices, it certainly has seemed to be a seamless transition, but we don’t yet know if that will be the case over time, and it’s certainly too early to make that judgement,” he says.