The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) has a staff retention plan, but the marketing agency’s president and CEO isn’t discussing the details.
“These are confidential matters between the staff and the CWB,” Ian White said in an interview Aug. 26. “All we’re doing is trying to… is give staff and ourself the best chance of retaining staff to see us through until whatever the future is. At this stage we really don’t know. You do put plans in place with key staff to try and achieve that and time will only tell whether you do.”
The federal government says it will end the CWB’s monopoly over the sale of western Canadian wheat and barley destined for domestic human consumption or export effective Aug. 1, 2012.
CWB chair Allen Oberg says the CWB will wind down operations as a result. Oberg said whether the CWB’s successor, if there is one, will be viable depends on how much assistance Ottawa provides.
Whi te decl ined to say whether financial incentives are part of the retention plan.
“Certainly it is a difficult time for our staff with the uncertainty, but we’ve got a lot of very professional and loyal staff I’ve got to say, and the plans we’ve got in place we would hope will see us through that,” White said dur ing the CWB’s annual crop-year-end news conference last week.
White was CEO of Australia’s Queensland Sugar when it lost its single-desk marketing powers. The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association says White could use that experience to assist the CWB to operate in an open market.
“This is quite different from the form of deregulation they had in Queensland at the time,” he said. “You just have to look at this and see how it would be played. From my point of view, sure, I’ve lots of experience in agribusiness but whether that’s the right experience to go forward here we’d have to see.” [email protected]
– Ian Whi Te
“Certainlyitisa difficulttimefor ourstaffwiththe uncertaintybutwe’ve gotalotofvery
professionalandloyal staff…andtheplans we’vegotinplace, wewouldhopewill seeusthroughthat.”