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Five Manitoba commodity associations to merge

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by five 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 Growers 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 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.

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 the working group in April of 2018 after the first phase of the process has been completed.