CWB halts organic marketing

A restructured CWB has no plans to initiate any further sales of organic grains.

CWB, as the Canadian Wheat Board recently retitled itself, announced Monday it has carried out all purchases and deliveries for its 2011-12 organic marketing program and ended that program entirely.

Winnipeg-based CWB’s current Organic Fixed Spread Contract program will also be discontinued when the 2011-12 crop year ends on July 31, the company said Monday.

Organic exporters won’t have to get export licences from the board after that date, although such licenses are still required in the interim, CWB said.

The end of the organic program also means the end of CWB’s Organic Sector Market Development Initiative (OSMDI), which has completed its 2011-12 funding year and will be discontinued.

OSMDI had provided over $500,000 to 20 different projects since 2008 and contributed to various organic research initiatives and extension events, CWB said.

The moves come as part of the "ongoing restructuring of CWB services and priorities."

According to CWB officials cited earlier this week in media reports, by the end of 2012, that restructuring will involve the layoffs or departures of over 300 employees who are or were with the board as of early 2011.

The Canadian Press on Wednesday quoted CWB officials as saying there will be 288 employees on the company’s staff by the end of this month and "about 100" by the end of 2012.

Related story:
Canola marketing a possibility under new CWB, April 20, 2012

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