The purpose of this paper is to examine the meaning and content of the term “orderly marketing” as it was adopted by Western Canadian farm leaders in the 1920s, and to determine whether the expected results of “orderly marketing”, as they were enunciated by farm leaders, were met.
The paper examines the critique that farm leaders and Wheat Pool officials levelled against the open market, and the way they posited “orderly marketing” as a solution to their perceived problems. Using contemporary data on wheat prices and movements, it analyzes the content of orderly marketing, and the results of its implementation by the Pools.
The paper finds that “orderly marketing” was primarily a campaign slogan, that the problems it was alleged to address did not exist, and that its implementation by the Wheat Pools did not yield the results that the farm leaders had promised. The paper acknowledges however, the significant accomplishments of these organizations, and postulates that the concept of orderly marketing resonates with aspects of Canadian culture and helps to explain why grain marketing in the USA and Canada evolved so differently.
The agricultural cooperative movement in Western Canada has been the subject of a great deal of historical research, most of it positive. However, there are no recently published qualitative studies of the history of the term, nor in‐depth quantitative analyses of the economic results achieved by the Wheat Pools during the 1920s that compare with the contents of this paper.
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