Strong earnings, strategic plan outlined in CWB annual report

by World Grain Staff
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WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) has released its annual report for the 2009-10 crop year, showing gross revenues of $5.2 billion. The earnings were among the highest in CWB history, attributable to strategic marketing of a large and high-quality crop during relatively strong international commodity prices. Only four other years saw higher total revenues.

CWB said exports of wheat and barley during the year, at 18.7 million tonnes, were the highest in a decade. Overall CWB administrative costs in 2009-10 increased by 2.4% from the previous year, to $70.5 million, or 9¢ per bushel.

The annual report, entitled “Bringing us All Together,” also contains highlights of the CWB's five-year strategic plan. The 2009-10 crop year was the first full year of execution of the plan, squarely focused on adding value for all farmers in Western Canada.

"This plan is rooted in a commitment to listen to farmers, to serve them and to add value to their business operations," said CWB board Chair Allen Oberg, who farms near Forestburg, Alberta. "To achieve its goals, we must be receptive to changes that will allow us to deliver on our commitments. This means being flexible and innovative as we all work together to face the challenges ahead."

The 2009-14 strategic plan is based on four pillars: operate efficiently and effectively; deliver the right services to farmers; manage the customer base; be a growing and thriving organization.

Examples of achievements during the year include introducing changes to CWB delivery policies and programs for farmers, as well as increased activity in branding western Canadian wheat in the international marketplace. This involved expanding a national consumer-based campaign in partnership with Robin Hood Flour; promoting Prairie durum during the 2010 Winter Olympics in alliance with Primo Pasta; and launching a promotional campaign for bakers in Ecuador with the flour miller Moderna Alimentos.

"At every level of CWB operations, we are striving to ensure clear objectives, performance measures and strategies are in place that can serve farmers better and promote Prairie grain around the world," Oberg said.

The report is available online at www.cwb.ca/annualreport.
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