Farm groups welcome bill overhauling grain producer protection

CNS Canada –– Proposed federal legislation to upgrade grain producer protection has generally been met with approval from Prairie farm groups.

Bill C-48, the Modernization of Canada’s Grain Industry Act, was introduced Tuesday in the Commons, including a number of amendments to the Canada Grain Act, with the creation of a compensation fund to protect farmers if a licensed grain buyer fails to pay for deliveries especially welcomed by producer groups. [Related story]

Exposure to risk from non-payment on grain deliveries is a serious issue for farmers, according to a release from the Canadian Canola Growers Association.

“The amendments contained in the bill begin the process to create a lower cost, more predictable producer payment security system that ultimately reduces risk to farmers,” said CCGA president Rick White.

“There are some elements of the bill that we wish to see improved, but overall this is a good package of amendments,” said Levi Wood, president of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association in a separate release.

Bill C-48 also extends the right for a producer to seek binding determination of grade and dockage on deliveries to processing facilities, grain dealers and container loading elevators.

Both proposals have the potential to directly enhance producer income security, according to the Grain Growers of Canada.

Adjustments to the functions and operations of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), with respect to research and grain monitoring are also included in C-48.

Other features of C-48 include measures that would allow for the imposition of fines for anyone who misrepresents their grain. The establishment of a review panel, where farmers and others can appeal any rulings made by the CGC, was also included.

The bill also proposes to introduce mandatory CGC inspection on all offshore container shipments.

Steps to modernize the CGC will help to reinforce Canada’s reputation as a reliable exporter of top quality grain, the Grain Growers of Canada said.

“Canadian farmers are proud of the strong international reputation we have worked hard to earn,” GGC president Gary Stanford said in a separate release. “The CGC is a key player in maintaining that good standing.”

 

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