As a poor harvest looms, farmers ask for compassion – not further hardship – from industry partners
Sept. 2, 2021 (Ottawa, ON) – Amid historic drought conditions, Canada’s grain growers are calling on grain companies to consider the impact that farmers face and work collaboratively on solutions to mitigate further harm.
“As farmers, we recognize the importance of upholding our commitments and honouring our contracts,” explained Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) chair Andre Harpe from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country. “However, this year will be harder than most. We are hoping that our industry partners can commit to working with us on solutions to problems that are beyond our control.”
As part of GGC’s advocacy efforts, the organization has met with the major grain companies to discuss the drought and ways in which the companies can support their customers through these trying times. Our proposals included immediate relief from administration fees and penalties on grain contracts.
“We are staring at historically low projections for yields across a lot of the prairies,” said Harpe. “To be frank, this may not allow for a full delivery on committed contracts. Any additional fees or penalties on top of that would make a down year even more punishing – for all of us.”
GGC also reminds farmers to consider their own contractual rights with grain handling companies and to request transparency about the cost of grain replacement under their contracts – which can be higher than local bid prices.
“Grain companies should be transparent about how those costs were measured and ensure that farmers are not forced to pay more than is actually required to acquire the grain that could not be delivered under contract,” Harpe added.
GGC has been involved in ongoing discussions with legislators, industry partners, and member organizations to ensure a profitable and sustainable future for the industry as a whole. The recognition that Canadian agriculture succeeds or fails as one entity will be a core theme of advocacy efforts going forward.
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Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 15 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.