Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) media release
The ongoing labour dispute between Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) has effectively halted all CP rail traffic moving both inland and to export positions at port. This leaves Canadian canola farmers facing yet another challenge after an extremely difficult year.
“A work stoppage at CP adds to the challenges we farmers have already faced with last year’s drought and natural disasters in B.C.,” says Mike Ammeter, Chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). “On top of an extremely difficult growing season, one of the worst harvests on record, and now rail service stoppages at CP, many farmers won’t be able to deliver grain. This could negatively impact farm cash flow during spring planting.”
Without rail service, the grain handling system quickly backs up, elevators and processing plants may stop accepting grain into their facilities and, in turn, farmers lose the ability to sell their canola and generate the necessary cash flow to manage their farm operations.
Canada’s 43,000 canola growers export approximately 90% of the canola crop they grow every year. Most of these sales rely on Canadian rail transportation to reach a port or an export market.
“Rail disruptions, like the one we’re facing now, affect canola’s reputation as a reliable supplier to our export customers,” says Steve Pratte, Policy Development Manager at CCGA. “This can have a direct effect on Canadian canola farmers’ competitiveness, driving valued customers to consider other global competitors to meet their canola requirements.”
“Canola farmers urge the federal government to understand the seriousness of this situation and move quickly to resolve the CP labour disruption before it affects the profitability of Canadian farmers and the competitiveness of the Canadian canola industry,” says Ammeter.
A prolonged work stoppage will have devastating impacts on the economy as a whole – Canada’s canola industry annually contributes $29.9 billion to the Canadian economy and accounts for 207,000 Canadian jobs.
CCGA represents canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability and is an official administrator of the Government of Canada’s Advance Payments Program. For more information, visit www.ccga.ca or follow CCGA on Twitter @ccga_ca.
Tenesha Lawson, Manager, Stakeholder Communications
e: [email protected]
The Alberta Canola Producers Commission is a farmer directed organization representing Alberta’s 14,000 canola growers and is a member of the Canadian Canola Growers Association.