News Release Archive

Agriculture and Marketing Minister Ed Lorraine today announced
the government's decision to privatize its grain and forage
operations through the establishment of a Grain and Forage
Producers' Trust and a corporation, East Coast Commodities Inc.

Operations affected include grain centres in Middleton, Bayhead
(near Tatamagouche) and Steam Mill (near Kentville), and a hay
compacting site in Middleton.

"This is an industry-driven initiative and a win-win situation
for the industry and the people of Nova Scotia," said Mr.
Lorraine. "Privatization through the establishment of a trust
instead of through a private sale gives grain and forage
producers the power to prepare the industry for a competitive
future. Nova Scotians win through the saving of taxpayer money." 

Privatizing grain and forage operations will save the government
more than $200,000 a year.  

"Grain producers know what is best for their industry," said Mr.
Lorraine. "It is best that the industry's future be in their

The trust was established by the Nova Scotia Department of
Agriculture and Marketing, the Nova Scotia Grain and Forage
Commission, the Nova Scotia Grain Marketing Board and the Nova
Scotia Forage Council. These groups were the founding
organizations for Grain and Forage Nova Scotia (GFNS), the
umbrella organization for the industry that was established in
1995 and has been operating under private sector management. The
goal in forming GFNS was to develop a permanent arrangement for
serving the grain and forage industry, such as privatization of
the public operations.

The trust will hold the assets, and newly incorporated East Coast
Commodities will run the day-to-day operations. The board of
directors for the new corporation will comprised current members
of GFNS.

Also announced today was the appointment of Jack Johnson of Truro
as trustee. The appointment was agreed to by all founders of the
trust. Mr. Johnson has strong ties to the agricultural community
through more than 30 years in farming and as the former
chairperson of the Nova Scotia Dairy Commission.

"This is a good scenario for our industry," said the new
corporation's chairperson, Peter Clarke, former chair of the Nova
Scotia Grain Marketing Board and GFNS. "We will be striving to
maintain and improve services by creating efficiencies and taking
advantages of new opportunities." 


Contact: Peter Clarke
         Grain and Forage Producers' Trust and
         East Coast Commodities Inc.

         Lynne M. Godlien
         Department of Agriculture and Marketing

ngr                  September 19, 1997                11:20 am