WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) announced on March 1 that it has reached a strategic grain agreement with Cargill, the CWB’s first agreement for grain handling services since the announced end of the CWB’s monopoly.

Programs for farmers will be rolled out by the end of March. The strategic agreement with Cargill will provide farmers who market through the CWB with delivery access and port handling services.

"We are very pleased that Cargill, with whom we've partnered very successfully in the past, has become the first player in the Canadian grain industry to find innovative ways for us to work together," said CWB President and Chief Executive Officer Ian White. "We can now move ahead to provide farmers with an exciting package of programs they can use with confidence in this new era."

White said CWB pools and cash contracts, including futures-based programs, as well as malting barley production contracts, will be available for farmers to sign up within the next few weeks. Participating farmers will take advantage of the CWB's global customer network, long-established relationships with grain buyers, and a trusted international brand, CWB said.

"We are excited about this opportunity. It allows us to present the most complete offering of wheat marketing tools to western Canadian growers,” said Cargill Ltd. President Len Penner. “The CWB has a proven track record of managing a western Canadian wheat pool. It is only logical that farmers continue to have access to CWB pools, if that's what fits for them."

Cargill's collaboration gives farmers who market through the CWB access to their 30 facilities across Western Canada, White said, along with critical port access at Vancouver, Thunder Bay and Baie Comeau.

"We are also seeking agreements with all Prairie grain handlers to maximize farmers' delivery options," White said, noting farmers could expect other agreements to be finalized shortly. "We plan to be farmers' best marketing partner, giving them the assurance they want and the returns they need for their business."