Wheat classification is currently managed by Wheat Quality Australia (WQA). WQA is funded by bulk handlers through GTA and by growers via GRDC. WQA is responsible for the classification and reclassification of all Australian wheat grades.
- Wheat classification is a differentiation process for categorisation of a wheat variety into a specific grade based on tested processing characteristics and end-product quality information.
- The grading enables market requirements to be recognised and taken into account by organisations breeding new wheat varieties.
- Wheat Quality Australia was formed by GTA and GRDC in 2011 to manage the wheat classification system. WQA is funded by industry contributions (approximately $450k pa) and GRDC (approximately $450k pa).
- Wheat Classification is an industry good function and as such should be funded by the residual funds after winding up Wheat Exports Australia in December 2012.
- Grain producers are currently underrepresented on the Wheat Classification Council at WQA. Broader consultation with grain producers is required.
An ineffective wheat classification system in Australia impact on the ongoing productivity of grain producers and can result in long term issues with overseas customers. A sound classification system is required to maintain integrity in our markets.
- A sound governance oversight of wheat classification is required.
- The Wheat Classification Council must have more grower representatives.
- Wheat classification is an industry-good function and as such should be funded by the residual funds after winding up WEA in Dec 2012.
Immediate review of the governance and funding structure of WQA to enable a sustainable, profitable wheat classification system in Australia, which is focused on industry good.