Words by David McKeon, CEO of GrainGrowers
After many years of work by a range of grains industry leaders, I am really excited to welcome the creation of a new company that will serve the interests of the whole Australian grains supply chain – from farmer to exporter and everyone between.
This new company, Grains Australia Ltd (GA), will consolidate several important industry good functions that deliver net benefit to the industry as a whole and are currently delivered by a number of separate organisations.
GA’s core functions will be: establish and maintain a grain variety classification system; provide services that maintain and improve trade and market access; develop long term market and consumer analysis and product awareness to support longer term demand and value creation and lastly, ensure technical support and training is available for customers of, and participants in the Australian grains industry
Here are a couple of examples of a coordinated response to an industry wide problem.
The China anti-dumping investigation against Australian barley is one such issue where GA would coordinate and ensure all necessary resources are allocated to resolving the issues. Currently, five industry organisations liaise with each other, which is an inefficient use of resources. Having one voice deal with this complex issue ensures a rapid and concise response and a positive outcome will benefit all stakeholders.
Another example would be GA working on gaining access for Australian pulses into the Indian market. The benefits of gaining access to such a large Indian domestic market would have excellent flow through effects for not just growers of pulses in Australia but right along the supply chain. These are issues that if solved, will benefit the whole grain industry, this is the function of an industry good company.
The Constitution for GA has been finalised and the next step is the Director recruitment process, you may already have noticed some ads running. There may be some delay in finalising this process due to COVID-19, but the process will begin. It is then expected the company will be fully operational later in 2020.
It’s a big step for the Australian grains industry, and there’s plenty of work still to do. But this is a very strong signal for the industry that we’re moving forward in ensuring Australian growers have effectively focussed and efficiently delivered industry services in a deregulated market.
The formation is being led by a Steering Committee comprised of GrainGrowers, Grain Producers Australia, Grain Trade Australia and Grains and Research Development Corporation (GRDC).
The GRDC will provide 100% of the initial cash funding. Peak grains industry organisations like GrainGrowers will be ongoing active contributors in the operations of GA through participation on committees, councils and working groups.