CropWeek 2010 – What is the Canadian Wheat Boards Stance on WTO and GM Wheat

I talked to Dustin Gosnell, Director of Strategic Planning and Corporate Policy,  Canadian Wheat Board about GM wheat and the CWB’s position on the latest WTO issues.

Agricultural trade issues are really sensitive and controversial issues right now.  Never mind the trade issues that North America has with China and the other BRIC countries but the relationship between Canada and the US has had its own moments.

The Canadian Wheat Board which is the single desk seller of Western Canadian wheat and barley, has some issues at the WTO level.  It would appear that these are some of the same issues that the Canadian quota systems (dairy and chicken) have.  I would hazard to guess that most farmers in Western Canada would not like the fate of the boards single desk to be decided through WTO negotiations in comparison to a farmer vote, whether you are pro single desk or not.

The other issue that was a hot topic at CropWeek, especially at the SaskSeed Meeting, is the whole discussion around GM wheat.  The CWB is firmly involved in this process because as the single desk seller they will be the ones dealing with the wheat customers.  Wheat has gone from the back of the bus to the most interesting crop in North America.  How the next ten years in wheat plays out will be interesting to say the least.

Dustin and I discussed all of this and tried to get you thinking about the issues affecting our industry.

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Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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One Comment

David Wallace

Isn’t it interesting that after all are discussions in Western Canada about whether we want the CWB to be the sole markerter of wheat and barley in Canada, that a group of 153 ministers from other countries will make that decision for us at the WTO meetings? Welcome to the global economy.

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