Regina, October 3, 2023 – Leaders from four farm groups representing the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), SaskCanola, Sask Wheat and SaskBarley have penned a letter to Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Minister, urging the Government of Saskatchewan to conduct a thorough risk assessment concerning the proposed merger of Bunge and Viterra, currently under review by Transport Canada and Competition Bureau Canada.
In the letter, the leaders commend the government's past efforts, specifically referencing the assessments conducted in 2010 for the proposed merger of BHP Billiton and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and the 2012 examination of the Glencore-Viterra merger as valuable precedents. The four organizations strongly advocate for a similarly rigorous approach for the present proposal.
To provide guidance for this critical assessment, the group proposed six key areas for consideration:
1. Assessment of Historical Consolidation Impacts: An in-depth analysis of the consequences of previous consolidations within Saskatchewan's agricultural industry.
2. Regional Competition within the Grain Handling System: A comprehensive evaluation of regional competition dynamics throughout the province's grain handling system.
3. Implications on Agricultural Markets and Supply Chain: A detailed study of the potential implications the merger may have on agricultural markets, commodity pricing, and the overall supply chain.
4. Port Infrastructure Consolidation and International Market Access: An examination of the possible consolidation of port infrastructure and its effects on Saskatchewan's access to international markets and delivery at inland handling facilities.
5. Market Concentration and Ownership: An assessment of the resulting changes in industry ownership and market concentration within the province.
6. Impact on Employment: An evaluation of the potential impact on head office jobs and employment within the grain industry across Saskatchewan.
As the 2023 harvest season approaches its conclusion, concerns within the province have become evident. A survey released by RealAgriculture on September 20 showed that 79 percent of western farmers expressed concern about the proposed merger, with Saskatchewan farmers expressing the highest level of concern.
All the leaders emphasized the importance of creating a structured process for engaging with the farm community and listening to their concerns, describing it as both a valuable and timely undertaking. The group believes that such an effort would be greatly appreciated by farmers and would contribute significantly to informed decision-making.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Ryan McNally, APAS Communications Manager | 306-789-5176 | email@example.com
Ellen Grueter, SaskCanola Communications Manager | 306-975-0262 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dallas Carpenter, Sask Wheat Comms. Manager | 306-653-7967 | email@example.com
Cole Christensen, SaskBarley Communications Manager | 306-250-1099 | firstname.lastname@example.org