Blog: Katy AskewViterra interest plants seeds of controversy

Katy Askew | 12 March 2012

The announcement from Viterra that it has been approached over a possible takeover has resulted in a flurry of speculation over what "third parties" might be making a move on Canada's largest grain handling and marketing firm.

Names touted include US agribusiness giant Cargill, as well as the likes of Switzerland-based commodities titan Glencore International.

The spike in interest in Canadian grain processors comes as Ottawa prepares to end the Canadian Wheat Board's 76-year-old monopoly on sales of wheat and barley.

The Canadian government's move to strip the board of its monopoly over western wheat and barley sales and allow farmers to sell independently has provoked fierce controversy in western Canada.

Supporters of the CWB have claimed that the change will drive prices down and expose farmers to the swings of trading in commodities markets. Meanwhile, the Conservative government has argued that farmers can - and have the right to - get higher prices on the open market.

As Canada is the world's third-largest exporter of wheat, it seems likely that global agribusiness giants could well be lining up to get a piece of the action. However, in this highly-charged atmosphere, it also seems likely that any M&A activity could become the centre of considerable controversy. 


Sainsbury's pulls the price lever

Sainsbury's, the UK's second-largest grocer, has set out plans for lower prices on a range of products, a move announced amid signs of pressure on its market share....


Intermarche broke rules with Nutella promo, French watchdog says

The pandemonium in stores of Intermarché as shoppers scrambled to grab jars of cut-price Nutella went viral - but the country's competition watchdog has announced the French retailer broke rules on se...


Big Food in investor spotlight this week at CAGNY

The senior management of a number of the major food manufacturers operating in the US will be in Florida this week for a key date on investor calendars....

Forgot your password?