Here is a summary of key points from the 2011 CWB Producer Survey:
Farmers’ biggest problems are unrelated to grain prices or marketing:
- Input costs were seen as the biggest problem, concerning 91 per cent of respondents.
- Transportation costs were the second biggest worry, rated a problem by 89%.
- Weather conditions were third, seen as a problem by 85%.
- Grain prices and lack of markets were identified as problems by less than 60%.
The CWB continues to have a strong support base among farmers:
- 67% said they support the CWB (43% “strongly”), a similar level to last year.
- 35% said their impression of the CWB is more favourable than two years ago, and only 12% said it was worse.
- Even those who “somewhat oppose” the CWB said their impressions of it had improved. Only in the small group who “strongly oppose” the CWB did more people have a negative impression.
- 73% agreed with the statement, “The CWB is doing a better job than it used to.”
- Improved perceptions of the CWB were overwhelmingly linked to its provision of more pricing and marketing options for farmers.
- 71% agreed that grain farmers have more influence over the CWB than a multinational
- 66% said the CWB provides them with a sense of security
- 63% disagreed with the statement “I would make more money if the CWB did not exist.”
A majority of farmer support the single desk for wheat:
- 63% of those with an opinion said they prefer the CWB single desk over an open market for wheat. This is a drop from 2010 (69%), but above 2008 support levels.
- 37% of all respondents preferred a single desk for barley, compared to 41% last year.
The CWB is perceived as making progress on farmers’ priorities:
- Getting a premium price for Canadian wheat was the top farmer priority, ranked a “very high priority” by 84% of respondents. The CWB was seen as making progress in this area by 71%.
- Getting new markets for Canadian wheat and maintaining its high-quality reputation were both very high priorities for 82%. The CWB was seen as making progress here by 75% and 85%, respectively.
- Branding Canadian wheat in key markets as a unique, high-value product was a very high priority for 78%. The CWB was seen as making progress here by 79%.
Farmers overwhelmingly believe that size doesn’t matter:
- 89% of respondent agreed that the CWB should care about landholders of all sizes. This belief was overwhelmingly shared by all farmers, regardless of their own farm size, including 77% of those farming more than 2,500 acres.
Fewer producers feel a sense of ownership of the CWB:
- There was an even split between those who felt a sense of ownership over the CWB and those who did not. Last year, 59% said they felt a sense of ownership.
- 60% rated the CWB as “excellent” or “fair” in being accountable to farmers, 62% thought it was open and transparent, while 68% thought it was honest in its communications with farmers.
As a producer, are you in agreement with these points?