The debate continues: whether or not single desk selling of Western Canadian grain provides the best return to producers. It is methodologically difficult to show that better returns may have been foregone in the past, yet the experience in Illinois suggests that, absent the CWB, farmers could also achieve worse results. While this battle – a battle that is in part ideological in nature – has been taking place, the world has moved forward and new services markets have evolved. There may indeed be $20 bills on the sidewalk that can be picked up by moving with the world – without, for the time being, abandoning the single desk. In this brief discussion paper we argue that the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) can improve its performance through increased recourse to specialized skills. As such, our proposal advocates further specialization of the process of marketing Western grains by out-sourcing functions which the present structure of the CWB is ill-equipped to perform itself. Our argument is to push the CWB further in the direction in which it has already ventured, for example, in some of its financial risk management practices.


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