The Canadian Wheat Board launched a new corporate visual identity and announced a partnership with one of the world’s largest grain handling companies July 31 in an effort to lay a strong foundation for a competitive business model in time for the new crop year.
"We begin the new era in a position of strength and a climate of optimism," president and CEO Ian White said during a news conference held in the lobby of CWB head office in downtown Winnipeg.
An important grain-handling agreement has been reached with Louis Dreyfus Canada Ltd. to handle grain from farmers who want to market their grain through CWB pools.
"With this new agreement, CWB remains well on track to serve farmers into the future as their expert grain-marketing partner," said White. "Our network of partner delivery points will continue to grow, ensuring farmers can sign CWB contracts with confidence."
White also unveiled a new image and logo for CWB, featuring vibrant colours that reflect the green of nature, the blue of the Prairie sky and the gold of the harvest, along with the rays of a rising sun.
"We have a brand new look, a solid business model and the support of thousands of farmers who have told us they intend to market grain with CWB. That makes the future bright."
Louis Dreyfus, one of the world's largest grain companies, has 10 modern, high-throughput terminals across Western Canada, with more than 130 confirmed locations across Western Canada where farmers can deliver grain to CWB.
"We will add value for farmers,” White continued. “We have a clean balance sheet thanks to the support of the Government of Canada. We have streamlined our operations. We have negotiated business arrangements that will help us succeed. The path we've taken goes in one direction - forward."
Production in 2011 will be significantly larger than the past three years. The CWB Market Research Team projects all-wheat production in Western Canada of 24.2 million tonnes (MT), compared to 22.7 MT last year and 21.1 MT in 2010. Durum is expected to be 4.5 MT, up from last year's 4.2 MT, while barley is forecast at 8 MT, up from 7.3 in 2011.
For the 2011-12 crop year that ends today, CWB expects to return an estimated $6.3 billion to western Canadian farmers from the sale of last year's wheat and barley crop. CWB exported about 18.1 MT, including 13 MT of wheat, 3.6 MT of durum, and 1.1 MT of barley. Within Canada, CWB sold 2.15 MT of wheat, 225 000 T of durum, and 1 MT of malting barley over the past crop year, which runs from August 1 to July 31.