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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

When Wheat Was King

The Rise and Fall of the Canada-UK Grain Trade

Over the course of a century, the Canadian Prairies went from being the breadbasket of the world to but one of many grain-growing regions in a vast global agri-food system. Magnan traces the causes and consequences of this evolution, from the first transatlantic shipments of wheat to the controversial dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board. When Wheat Was King reveals how farmers, governments, and consumers, over successive periods, responded to industrialization, international trade rules set by the US, the liberalization of global markets, and the consolidation of corporate power. The result is a fascinating look at how regional, national, and international politics have influenced agriculture and food industries in Canada, the UK, and around the world.

216 pages

Table of Contents


1 Forging the Canada-UK Wheat Trade: Experimentation and Crisis, 1870-1945

2 Regulating the Wheat Sector: Consensus and Contradiction, 1945-95

3 Reinventing Industrial Bread: Wheat as Food Commodity and Premium Product, 1995-

4 Transforming the Wheat Sector: Conflicts over the Canadian Wheat Board, GM Wheat, and Local Bread, 1995-


Notes; References; Index

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