Some politicians and shadow farm groups are doing everything but stand on their heads to claim the Viterra sale is a good thing!
Not many touch the issue whether it will be possible for farmers, except Gerry Ritz’s private lobby group, the Grain Growers of Canada. Their twisted logic implies that since overall grain handling will be roughly 30% for the remaining three larger players - this should be a good thing. Here in the real world where the rest of us live and grow grain, the issue of where the elevators are located and their closest competitor is more relevant than the cumulative average of their grain handle! Who cares if one company only handles 30% if it has the only elevator within 100 miles!!
With this deal, many towns will now see competition disappear on the grain handle side. The grain industry had already reduced cmpetition by re-dividing their facilities’ when Agricore United was purchased. Now another re-dividing will occur with Viterra facilities.
Not one new competitor is coming into place. There is only the loss of one and redistribution of Viterra facilities within companies who were already in the market! And there is nothing to say there will not be more purchases and “re-allocating” of facilities. This used to be called “collusion”.
With respect to fertilizer outlets Agrium will have a virtual monoploy in many areas. Many other areas will lose competing sites and further amalgamation will occur.
It is ironic that the Conservatives were so steadfast in destroying the farmers’ single desk. But with their actions they have purposefully allowed the grain companies and fertilizer dealers to develop monopolies in local areas. So much for MARKET FREEDOM Gerry!