Tuesday, November 4, 2014

CWB wants a partner, not a buyer

The Canadian Wheat Board is not for sale, says the board’s chief strategy officer, Dayna Spiring.

“I think there is a misunderstanding about what CWB is trying to do,” she told the Manitoba Cooperator.

“We’re not selling the CWB and that’s never been our goal.

“We’ve said all along we want farmers to play a role in the CWB. “That’s what our farmer equity is there to do. We want farmers to be a significant shareholder in the CWB.

“We need to bring an investor in to partner with farmers to replace the federal government," she said.

In other words the board wants a new sugar daddy.

Good luck with that!

We’re not selling off the CWB and this is not a sale as anyone would typically see a sale,” she said.

Nor has CWB accelerated the privatization process, she said. CWB has long said it wants to complete the privatization process required under federal legislation sooner than later.

The legislation says CWB must present a plan to the agriculture minister by 2016 and privatize or wind up operation by 2017.

Last week, Farmers of North America (FNA) announced CWB rejected its bid to acquire CWB’s assets.

FNA wants to create a majority farmer-owned grain-handling and -marketing company that also distributes fertilizer, including nitrogen FNA hopes will be produced by its proposed majority farmer-owned nitrogen-manufacturing company, known as ProjectN.

Spiring declined to comment on FNA’s bid.

However, she said CWB, which is being assisted in the privatization process by Deloitte, wants to get the best deal it can for farmers.

“We’re going to make sure we come up with the right plan and do all the due diligence that we can to assure CWB is a strong and viable organization going forward,” she said.