DAILY NEWS Feb 5, 2014 9:57 AM - 0 comments

Federal government's rail transportation announcement a 'good start': Alberta Barley

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CALGARY, Alta.--The announcement by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Gerry Ritz of the government's aim to improve the competitiveness of the supply chain and to address rail transportation issues brought praise from Alberta Barley.

"This is a good start," said Alberta Barley Chairman Matt Sawyer, who sits on the Crop Logistics Working Group (CLWG) that was responsible for many of the recommendations for improvement.

"We know this issue will not be solved overnight; however, we will continue to work politically and practically to achieve a solution," said Sawyer in a release.

The annoucement is a welcome one, as farmers seek to deliver last year's bumper crop to a hungry world. However, the need to reliably transport and export our grain must remain a priority.

Canada is currently the fifth largest agri-food exporter in the world and approximately nine out of every 10 farms in this country are dependent on exports.

"Farmers depend on export markets to earn a living," added Sawyer. "Efficient rail service is vital to the future of farming in Western Canada, but we also have to think about the food processors across Canada. Real people's lives are being impacted everyday."

Alberta Barley said it is committed to ensuring that this issue remains a priority for industry and government.

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