CWB Final "Cashplus Offer" has Canadian Malting Industry asking "Where's the
Rest of it?"

OTTAWA, Dec. 9 /CNW/ - The CWB's recent announcement of the final Cashplus payment to barley farmers for the 2008 - 2009 year has surprised and disappointed the members of the malting industry given the value back to the grower that was anticipated. The industry is now asking "where's the rest of the payment?"

Maltsters purchased a significant volume of the Board's Cashplus barley offering in 2008 - 2009 at much higher values, thus expecting the final payment to farmers to be at least double the amount of the $12.89/mt announced by the CWB.

"The figure is based on the price paid to growers and the "Cash" that the CWB held back in Maltsters' contracts and presumably other barley industry member's" says Phil de Kemp, President of the Malting Industry Association of Canada.

The final payment to producers reinforces the malting industry's position that the program as presently managed by the CWB, continues to be uncompetitive, complicated, cumbersome, and extremely expensive to administer. There is also a concern that monies held back from farmers supplying the domestic malting industry may be used to promote sales of malting barley to our offshore competitors. The program continues to send non transparent price signals to farmers and that appears to be validated by the low payment announced by the CWB says de Kemp.

Costs attributed to the CashPlus program now in its second year continue to remain unclear and the industry is still unsure whether the program costs are required to be fully disclosed and itemized by the CWB to farmers. "I guess we'll wait and see what the latest annual report shows. It will be up to farmer's to decide if they think the costs are reasonable or excessive" says de Kemp.

The malting industry has always advocated that the CWB must maximize the amount of "upfront" payment to producers in the program to ensure as much price effectiveness as possible. The low final payment results were released to the industry last Friday in a meeting with the CWB. The CWB needs to provide greater price effectiveness, more accountability and significantly reduce the excessive administrative costs experienced by both the CWB and the value-added malting industry who are trying to remain competitive in a fiercely traded global market.

The industry is committed in trying to work with the CWB and other partners in the industry in a cooperative and proactive manner; in an attempt to provide the best possible marketing solutions as possible under a marketing system that constrains value-added activities.

The Malting Industry Association of Canada represents the four major malting companies in Canada. They include: Canada Malting Company Ltd with plants in Calgary, Thunder Bay and Montreal. Rahr Malting located in Alix, Alberta. Prairie Malt Limited in Biggar Sask., and Malteurop Ltd. located in Winnipeg. Collectively they are the largest customers of the CWB buying approximately 1.1 million tonnes (or 60% of the entire CWB pool) of malting barley annually. Canada has now fallen to the 3rd largest world exporter of malt behind the E.U and now Australia.

SOURCE Malting Industry Association of Canada

For further information: For further information: Phil de Kemp, President, Malting Industry Association of Canada, (613) 271-9774 or cell (613) 290-7336

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Malting Industry Association of Canada

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