WHEREAS rural municipalities in their respective weed control programs are required by law to utilize industrial labelled herbicides;AND WHEREAS the purchase of many of these herbicides has been limited to one vendor throughout the province; AND WHEREAS this retailing policy may have great benefits to the manufacturer, but does not allow for any competitive pricing in this market;AND WHEREAS broad retail networks exist for agricultural herbicides, and they result in very competitive pricing to agricultural producers;AND WHEREAS an interest has been expressed by many of these agricultural retailers to handle and be able to distribute these industrial products;AND WHEREAS many municipalities prefer to spend their herbicide budgets locally;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties enter into discussions with the major industrial producers to discuss selling practices and policies to ensure they are fair and in the best interest of Alberta municipalities.
Presently, virtually all municipalities rely on the use of industrial labelled herbicides in their weed control programs. In order to purchase these products, a municipality must deal with only one company based in Calgary. Because there is no competition in the marketplace, we feel that a fair price for these products is difficult to achieve. We have been told that these products are marketed in this fashion to control inventory. These companies have also told us that sales are not substantial enough to warrant a change in the practice. Based on information reported to Alberta Agriculture, $2.5 million were spent in 1998 on herbicides by Alberta rural municipalities. The majority of these expenditures were for industrial labelled herbicides.It is our understanding that we do not purchase these products from a single vendor; rather we purchase them from the manufacturer who in turn pays the vendor an administration fee for handling. We feel that competition is needed in this marketplace to ensure that municipalities get a competitive price when spending public dollars on inputs for their respective weed control programs.The large agricultural herbicide-retailing network that exists in the province has expressed interest in being allowed to handle these products. This would allow municipalities the freedom to deal locally, and would allow some competition into the marketplace.In the United States, these herbicides are available from any agricultural outlet. Examples of the difference in prices (all converted to Canadian funds): Product Canadian Price U.S. Price Tordon 22K $39.50/litre $29.50/litre Transline $132.00/litre $66.00/litre* US prices calculated at exchange rate of 1.4864, October 6, 1999. Information gathered in conversation with Bob Parsons, Park County Weed and Pest Control District, Powell, Wyoming.