CWB head office building in downtown Winnipeg.



Canadian Wheat Board customer service needs improving according to results from a survey conducted by the Canadina Federation of Independent Business.

When asked how the overall service of the CWB has changed during the past 5 years, 45 percent of farmers indicated there had been no change, or it had worsened.

"In the areas of consistency and promptness of responses from the Canadian Wheat Board, we found that 20-30 percent of our members rated these as poor," says Virgina Labbie, CFIB's policy analyst for agribusiness. "This begs the question, what business would survive with a third of its customers rating these customers service essentials as poor?"

She says they also found many farmers were very dissatisfied with Producer Payment Options and the CashPlus program. 60 percent of respondents were very or somewhat dissatisfied with the 2009-10 Basic Price Contract for Wheat and the 2009-10 FlexPro Producer Payment Option. "We had a number of comments indicating these programs are complicated, they're not very transparent, they're not very well communicated and sometimes they're not accessible," says Labbie.

The CFIB has sent a survey to all the candidates in the current CWB Director Elections. "We're asking them to articulate how they would improve customer service, in particular, how they would ensure program like CashPlus and other Producer Payment Options are changed to better reflect producers' needs."

"We also hope this is a call to action for the Canadian Wheat Board. We hope they see these results as helpful so that it can deliver on important commitments to prairie farmers," says Labbie.

~ Wednesday, November 3, 2010 ~