Manitoba’s KAP Bows Out Of CWB Fight

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Manitoba s Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP), once a steadfast supporter of the Canadian Wheat Board, now accepts the board is going to lose its single desk.

However, Wild Rose Agricultural Producers (WRAP) KAP s sister farm organization in Alberta, is still calling for the federal government to accept the results of the board s plebiscite.

Manitoba s largest farm group now wants to ensure farmers benefit from the controversial change, says KAP president Doug Chorney.

We re just facing the reality of the circumstances that we find ourselves in, he said in an interview before meeting with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada officials last month. At some point you have to adapt to the reality of your situation.

KAP s standing policy on the wheat board states in part that KAP supports the balance offered by both an inclusion and an exclusion option (for crops), providing producers have the final say.

As recently as June Chorney repeated KAP s position publicly, but now he says it s clear the government is moving ahead despite what KAP says.

So we need to look at how we can be effective for our membership so it s done without any negative consequences on producers, Chorney said.

Wild Rose Agricultural Producers has a similar wheat board policy.

However, in late September WRAP issued a news release calling on the federal government to respect the wheat board s plebiscite, which saw 62 and 51 per cent of western Canadian farmers vote to keep the single desks for wheat and barley, respectively.

WRAP and KAP s divergent postures are out of sync with years of polling that shows support for the board s single desk is strongest among Manitoba farmers and weakest in Alberta.

Wild Rose s policy is we believe producers should make the decision regarding their marketing, WRAP president Humphrey Banack said in an interview.

WRAP, like KAP, has members on both sides of the CWB schism. But WRAP s board policy is long standing, Banack said.

Even the open marketers respect that we (farmers) should be deciding.

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