Farmers of North America (FNA) say it’s regrettable that Canadian farmers did not have a better opportunity to be the majority owners in the CWB.
Last week Global Grain Group – a partnership of Bunge Canada and SALIC Canada (a Saudi Agricultural Investment group) – bought the majority ownership 50.1% in the CWB.
FNA’s Bob Friesen says farmers will likely have some questions and concerns given the foreign strategic partners involved.
“With the ownership structure that there’s going to be, and the owners that there are, what sort of opportunity will farmers have to strengthen their position in the marketplace to strengthen their position in the valued chain? Will there be an opportunity for farmers to grow that farmers trust, to make sure that farmers trust is maintained? If this results in increased competition, how will the benefit of that increased competition accrue to farmers, or will this simply result in this new company buying out the farmers trust and doing more mergers and acquisitions in the grain industry, and how will that impact on competition in the grain industry in Canada?”
Last fall FNA saw a significant interest from farmers in investing in their farmer ownership plan which he believes helped achieve the 49.9% ownership in the trust and the $250 million dollar valuation.
“The way farmers stepped up to the plate, the way they were keen to engage in this opportunity, we believe that leadership resulted in the CWB being able to negotiate a higher value for the CWB as well as it gave them the ability to negotiate a higher ownership of the farmers trust.”
That being said Friesen believes there is a lot of synergy between FNA’s Genesis project and G3 for future discussions on mutual opportunities.