FNA-STAG Supports Farm Groups Call for Freight Review

SASKATOON, June 16 /CNW/ - FNA-STAG supports the call for a full costing review to determine whether current freight costs reflect a competitive and efficient rail transportation system.

Bob Friesen, CEO of FNA-STAG says, "FNA-STAG wants to add its voice to those calling for a review of the costs of rail freight. This review is long-overdue and since FNA-STAG is committed to working for improved farm profitability, it is critical that farmers have the best competitive options to ship their grain to port," he says.

The call for a freight review is complementary to the current level of service review. While the two need to be kept separate, they are critically linked because a comprehensive level of service review cannot be done without knowing whether railways are charging freight within the parameters given to them as a trade-off for not allowing dual running rights. As long as Canada does not enable competition through methods like dual running rights, it's imperative that freight rates are scrutinized and set at a competitive level for farmers. That includes reflecting new realities like the efficiency gains made by the railways after the last cost review was done.

"This major competitive factor for farmers must change if Western Canadian farmers are going to be able to compete in a global grains market," states Friesen. "The rail monopolies have increased their efficiencies, and in some cases on the backs of farmers. The market for grains is global and the Prairies are already further away from a port than any of the countries we compete with. The cost of rail freight must change if our farmers are going to be profitable."

FNA-STAG encourages all farmers to support their general farm organizations in their work on this issue.

Farmers of North America Strategic Agriculture Institute (FNA-STAG) is a not-for-profit organization with the single mission of "Improving Farm Profitability."

SOURCE Farmers of North America

For further information: For further information: Bob Friesen, CEO: (613) 230-2222, (613) 852-9711

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