The Competition Bureau released its report this week regarding Bunge's proposed acquisition of Viterra. 

The report finds the proposed acquisition is likely to harm competition in markets for grain in Western Canada, as well as the sale of canola oil in Eastern Canada. It also found that Bunge could materially influence the economic behavior of G3 Global Holdings, a major competitor to Viterra, as it is also a minority shareholder of G3. 

For months now, farm groups have been raising those same concerns.

Brenda Mahoney, general manager of the Keystone Agriculture Producers says the report raises the concerns KAP has shared with the Competition Bureau, as well as other impacted stakeholders involved in the review. 

"We are currently in the process of analyzing the complete report to determine how this data can be used to effectively advocate for the interests of Manitoba producers.”

The Competition Bureau concerns are outlined in a report to the Minister of Transport.

Meantime, Transport Canada is conducting its own public interest assessment and has until June 2, 2024 to provide that report to the Transport Minister.

Mahoney says KAP looks forward to reviewing that assessment. 

KAP will be working with producers and other stakeholders in Manitoba to determine the full impact of this proposed transaction on their operations and the agri-food value chain as a whole should it be approved.

KAP President, Jill Verwey says they are committed to continue working with producer and commodity group members, as well as other stakeholders from across the value chain, to determine next steps as they monitor the proposed transaction.

"This must begin however with a fulsome review of the detailed report that was released today  (Wednesday) to provide evidence that would support any actions moving forward.”

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan agrees, President Ian Boxall says the report from the Competition Bureau is everything they've been saying for months.

"This merger is not good for producers. It is not good for rural economies and it is not good for Saskatchewan.  The only people that are gonna benefit from this merger are the shareholders of Bungie and Viterra. At the end of the day, the reduced competition in the marketplace is something that farmers just can't afford."

The final decision on the proposed acquisition will be made by cabinet, based on the advice of the Transport Minister.