June 5, 2024  

Transparency, competition crucial as cabinet considers consolidation of Bunge-Viterra 

[Regina, SK] The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan is urging the federal government to ensure a fair, transparent and competitive grain market for farmers as cabinet considers recommendations from Transport Canada regarding a proposed merger between Bunge and Viterra. Transport Canada’s review period closed June 2.  

The Saskatchewan agricultural community has expressed grave concern over the potential fallout, which analysis projects would cost Canadian farmers an estimated $800 million per year. While APAS stands against the merger, it is imperative for the welfare of producers that the federal government enact measures to enhance competition, transparency and balance in the grain industry: 

1. Divestment of assets: Bunge must sell its G3 interests along with targeted Viterra assets. 

2. Modernized grain contracts: Improved risk management tools for producers through more balanced, transparent and efficient grain contracts. 

3. Enhanced market data transparency: Mandatory and timely disclosure of data, including export sales, which will allow for more informed decisions by producers. 

4. Full railway cost review: Ensuring meaningful competition on service and rates, and identifying opportunities for improvement. 

5. Extended interswitching rights and investing in short-line rail infrastructure: Thereby reducing transportation costs and improving market access, particularly in rural areas. 

6. Transparent process for facility closures: Any Viterra facility closures arising from the merger must be subjected to an open, market-driven process to mitigate risk to producers. 

“The recommendations from the Standing Committee on Agriculture make clear that the principles of fairness, transparency and competition should apply equally across the entire food supply chain, from growers to grocery," said APAS president Ian Boxall. "Both ends of the food supply chain face similar challenges of consolidation and market dominance. The Committee's recommendations offer a blueprint for promoting a healthier, more competitive marketplace that benefits consumers and producers. 

"Our focus is clear: to ensure the farming community does not bear the brunt of decreased competition and pricing. Producers across the province are hopeful for decisive action that enhances the integrity and competitiveness of our industry.” 


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Brad Brown
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