The Canadian Wheat Board represents some 75,000 grain growers, and
handles all Western wheat and barley destined for export and human use.
The CWB is 100% self-supporting, and, with $5 billion in annual sales,
is a real power in the international marketplace. Backed by the Canadian
Grain Commission's excellent quality assurance, the Board uses its
exclusive "single-desk selling" power -- its much-maligned "monopoly" --
to get the best possible prices, transportation rates, and quality
premiums for its producers. The CWB is worth $700-$800 million annually
to farmers, averaging almost $10,000 per farm.
And it's not just farmers who benefit. A 2005 Price Waterhouse
Coopers study credited the Board with a "huge" economic impact totaling
$1.6 billion annually, including some 14,000 non-farm jobs. The CWB
moves 20 to 30 million tonnes of grain a year over Canadian rail lines
and through Canadian ports in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and
Quebec, making it one of Canada's biggest rail shippers and one of our
strongest East-West links. The Board has also been a crucial player in
protecting grain customers -- including Canadian consumers -- from the
risks of GM (genetically modified) wheat.
Read the link for the whole story.