Five Grower Organizations Sign Milestone MOU, Work Towards Merger

Posted: May 2, 2017

                                                           

Carman, MB – May 2 A milestone Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed committing a group of five, like-minded commodity associations to work towards merging into one organization in order to increase efficiencies and maximize profitability and sustainability for Manitoba farmers.

The involved organizations include Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA), Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers Association (MPSG), Manitoba Flax Growers Association (MFGA), National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Association (MWBGA).

The MOU represents a significant step forward following more than three years of talks surrounding how the above groups could better work together to maximize member value.

“The Board of Directors of the MWBGA and MCGA have taken a lead in showcasing how commodity groups can work together,” says Pam de Rocquigny, who was recently hired as general manager of both MWBGA and MCGA. “This MOU signals a more formalized relationship between all the involved commodity groups as we work together to explore new and innovate ways in how our organizations can improve efficiencies and deliver maximum value to our memberships.”

The commodity organizations involved are seeking the help of an advisor to help facilitate the process of taking their commitment to merge from infancy to fruition by facilitating the development of a work plan that includes timelines and consultation with members.

The group has no predetermination of what this common commodity organization will eventually look like. The group has expressed, unequivocally, that it will make sure the farmers from each commodity organization represents will have a strong, critical voice in shaping this merger.

“This is the first step in a long process,” says Jason Voth, chair of MPSG’s Board of Directors. “I am very pleased to hear that these groups are willing to work together. As a farmer, this makes sense. Good farming is about growing more than one crop. I represent one farm that grows multiple crops. This merger makes sense.”

These talks began in the spring of 2014, when at the manager/director level the idea of collaboration among groups began gaining momentum. In November of that year, a motion around the board table was passed to begin investing minimal dollars towards pursuing the idea of working together to increase efficiencies. Months later, a collaboration group was formed. Since that time, a group of interested organizations have met on a monthly basis to discuss the possibilities that have led to the exciting milestone of this MOU.

Currently, all of the above commodity groups, with the exception of the Manitoba Flax Growers, operate out of the same building in Carman, Manitoba.

While five grower organizations have signed the MOU, they are willing to allow other, like-minded commodity groups to join the merger talks, provided they have the same level of commitment to delivering value and increasing profitability among their farmer members. Interested organizations will have an opportunity to join this working group in April of 2018 after the first phase of this process has been completed.

From the MOU

“We share a common goal to improve the sustainability and profitability of farms in Manitoba,” reads the MOU. “Our intention is to develop a future working relationship that is efficient, effective and advantageous to our members. Our vision is to work for the next year to develop a plan for merging into a common commodity organization consisting of like-minded grower groups. We are entering into this process with no predetermination of what this common commodity organization will eventually look like.”

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For more information, please contact:

Toban Dyck
Director of Communications
Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers
204.227.8875
toban@manitobapulse.ca

Pam de Rocquigny
General Manager
Manitoba Corn Growers and Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers
204.745.6661
pam@mbwheatandbarley.ca