WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — Following suspending ILTA Grain Inc.’s licenses the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) is taking steps to protect grain producers who have delivered to company.
ILTA Grain Inc. operates primary elevators in Belle Plaine, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. On July 8, British Columbia’s Supreme Court placed ILTA Grain Inc. under creditor protection because of its financial difficulties. The CGC then suspended all issued licenses to ILTA Grain on July. 11.
The CGC’s Safeguards for Grain Farmers Program regulates grain companies to mitigate the risk of payment failure to producers and to support the grain quality assurances system. As a condition of licensing, licensed grain companies are required to tender security for outstanding grain liabilities to the CGC as a bond, letter of credit, letter of guarantee, cash deposit, trust account or payables insurance.
The commission has since negotiated the creation of an escrow account into which funds will be placed that relate to grain deliveries for which no cheques have been issued. Producers may be compensated from this account. The fund will be held by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the court-appointed monitor, until it has been determined how the funds will be distributed.
The commission has visited ILTA Grain Inc.’s offices and facilities and is completing a final audit to establish the number and amount of eligible claims. To date, the Canadian Grain Commission has heard from more than 200 producers.
“One of the key conditions of reinstating ILTA Grain Inc.'s licenses is that ILTA is not allowed to purchase grain from producers. At the Canadian Grain Commission, we take producer protection seriously,” said Patti Miller, chief commissioner and deputy head of the CGC.
As part of the negotiation of the escrow agreement, the Canadian Grain Commission reinstated ILTA Grain Inc.’s grain dealer and primary elevator licenses effective Aug. 7, with the condition that ILTA Grain Inc. cannot purchase grain from, receive grain from, or otherwise incur liabilities to grain producers. ILTA Grain Inc. may sell, remove or otherwise transfer grain or grain products held or stored at its facilities.
To be eligible for a claim made under the Safeguards for Grain Farmers Program, a producer must:
- Deliver to a licensed grain company
- Deliver one of the 20 grains regulated by the Canada Grain Act
- Present the proper documents (a primary elevator receipt, a grain receipt, a cash purchase ticket or cheque)
- Demand payment during eligibility periods
- Report non-payment to the Canadian Grain Commission
The CGC will contact any producers who have reported payment issues. Once the commission has confirmed the producers’ contact information, it will send each producer a completed claim form to sign and return to the commission as soon as possible. The claims process cannot move ahead without a signed claim form. Any producers who have not contacted the commission, but who delivered to ILTA Grain Inc. before July 11 and have not received payment, should immediately contact the Canadian Grain Commission at 1-800-853-6705.
The CGC is the federal agency responsible for establishing and maintaining Canada’s grain quality standards. The agency’s programs result in shipments of grain that meet contract specifications for quality, safety and quantity. The CGC regulates the grain industry to protect producers’ rights and ensure the integrity of grain transactions.