The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) has asked the RCMP to investigate a bankrupt Melfort, Saskatchewan-based specialty grain company.
Naber Specialty Grains Ltd. (NSGL) went into receivership on June 18, 2015, owing millions of dollars to creditors, including farmers.
NSGL was licensed with the CGC to operate a primary elevator at Melfort until May 8, 2015. Licensed grain companies are required to post a bond to cover potential liabilities to producers. They must also report their liabilities to the CGC on a monthly basis.
“We have uncovered what appear to be irregularities in producer liability reports provided by Naber Specialty Grains Ltd. to the Canadian Grain Commission, and as a consequence security posted by the company to compensate grain producers will be insufficient,” said Jim Smolik, the CGC’s Acting Chief Commissioner, in a statement on Wednesday.
“We are consulting with the RCMP’s Criminal Operations Section to review possible violations of the Canada Grain Act,” he continued.
While it appears NSGL’s security was significantly underfunded, the CGC is now asking farmers who were not paid to submit claims based on the value of the grain they delivered. The funds will be divided on a prorated basis among all eligible claimants. You can find more information on making a claim here.
NSGL was in the business of buying canaryseed, which is not listed as an official grain in the Canada Grain Act, so farmers selling the crop are not protected through the CGC’s bonding program.
For this reason, the Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewan issued a notice to growers in March 2015 about “reports from producers unable to receive payment from Naber Specialty Grains in a timely manner.” The commission also noted Todd Naber was a principle in Naber Seed & Grain Co. Ltd — which entered receivership while owing many producers for grain in 2002 — and was a principle in Naber Specialty Grains Ltd.