The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) is concerned about the lack of a comprehensive and effective plan for the transition to a post-single desk environment for Canadian wheat and barley. The grassroots farm group has identified a number of key issues affecting producers, producer-owned terminals, and short-line railways that need to be addressed prior to the 2012 deadline announced by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Minister Responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Gerry Ritz, in May of this year.
“As the single largest wheat-producing province in the country and with no access to port facilities within our borders, efficient and cost-effective transportation of our harvest is of paramount importance to Saskatchewan farmers,’ said Greg Marshall , APAS President. “The elimination of the single desk may well be the biggest change to agriculture on the Prairies in over 100 years and will have significant and lasting impacts on the transportation of grain from Saskatchewan.”
APAS President, Greg Marshall and Policy Manager, Doug Faller met on August 24 with a Subcommittee of the Working Group established by Minister Ritz to provide advice regarding the changes and legislation necessary for the elimination of the single desk. Presentations were also tabled by representatives from the Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba (KAP) and the Wild Rose Agricultural Producers of Alberta (WRAP).
Key transition issues identified by APAS included:
“These issues need to be thoroughly addressed and an effective transition plan developed in order to minimize adverse impacts on producers and other stakeholders,” said Marshall. “Given the magnitude of the changes proposed, we need to take the time to do this right. Producers don’t want to be disadvantaged tomorrow by faulty or hasty decisions made today.”
APAS’ submission and position was developed through a collaborative consultation process with members and representatives from across the province and supported by the Grain Transportation Symposium sponsored by APAS and the University of Saskatchewan Department of Bio-resource Policy, Business & Economics on August 23, 2011 and attended by key Saskatchewan stakeholder groups and industry and academic experts in grain transportation.
APAS will be compiling the Symposium results into a formal submission to the Working Group in early September.
For More Information, please call:
Greg Marshall, APAS President
Phone: 306-789-7774 ext 151 (Office) or ext 211 (Mobile)
Doug Faller, Policy Manager
Phone: 306-789-7774 ext 153 (Office)
APAS is Saskatchewan’s general farm organization - formed to provide farmers and ranchers with a democratically elected, grassroots, non-partisan, producer organization based on rural municipal boundaries. As the united voice of thousands of agricultural producers in Saskatchewan, we strive to represent the views of a wide variety of agricultural stakeholders in order to form comprehensive policies that can benefit all sectors of society.
APAS was formed from a resolution during the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) convention in the Fall of 1999, as an organization that could provide sound farm policy on behalf of Saskatchewan producers. In December 2000, the first APAS Board of Directors was elected.