Since the early 1900′s, The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool has played a major part of Canada’s growth and development as an industrialized country. Launched in 1923 by an group of concerned farmers, the Co-operative was designed to ensure a fair wheat price for every farmer. The Wheat Pool grew steadily from that point on into an agri-food processing and marketing company and remained a co-operative until 1996 when it became a publicly traded company. It would be hotly debated by some whether any historical photo of the Canadian Prairies is considered complete without the iconic nature of a Grain Elevator included.
When Viterra was created by the merger of Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and Agricore United in June 2007, the name change was the obvious factor in requiring a new identity for the organization. The previous logo is a true vintage wonder with history to prove it. Unlike many of its modern counterfeits, pledging their devotion to a storied past but only serving the purposes of furthering a modern trend of old made new again, this logo could tell such stories of harsh winter hardship and dusty summer droughts it would surely bring a tear to the eye of even the most hardened prairie farmhand.
The new logo is average at best and lacks the imagination in it’s design some might expect to see representing an organization of such rich heritage. The colours do very little to represent prairie wheat fields or dusty gravel roads. It seems as if this logo has forsaken it’s roots and exchanged overalls for a cheap suit from last year’s wardrobe.
With lots to be learned from history, let’s hope Viterra has chosen not to dispose of valuable lessons learned from the past century of farming in Canada the same way they have disposed of a classic logo.