“In an environment where the world’s grain markets are heavily distorted by government intervention, it is important that Australian growers are speaking with one voice in the international market so that their views and interests are discussed at the highest levels” AWB Limited Chairman Trevor Flügge said today.
Mr Flügge was speaking after his recent meeting in Moscow with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture, Mr Alexi Gordeyev.
This meeting followed the International Grains Council’s annual meeting in Moscow last week.
“Russia continues to be a significant force in the international wheat market. To be able to gain access to this country’s key policy formulators is a strong endorsement of AWB’s place in the world grain market,” he said.
“Australian growers produce only 4 percent of world wheat yet we rely almost entirely on the export market for our livelihood with over 80 percent of Australian production marketed off shore.
“Internationally, AWB is seen as the voice of Australian growers. If we did not go to the market as a single force and create this critical mass then we could not expect to achieve the level of access we currently enjoy.
“It is testament to AWB’s long standing reputation in the market place that we can put Australia’s case and be heard by politicians and policy makers around the world,” he said.
Mr Flügge said that there was strong recognition from Russia of the quality of Australian wheat and the role that AWB Limited played in marketing Australian grain to the world.
“Australia’s reputation as a world class supplier of high quality grain is clearly acknowledged. However, equally important is that fact that our co-ordinated marketing system is also recognised as delivering a win-win result to customers and producers,” he said.
Mr Flügge said that the Russian grain sector, and the economy more generally, had gone through significant changes in the past decade, as it has shifted from a centrally planned economy to a more market driven approach.
“As this market evolves and develops there are likely to be increasing business opportunities, not just in grain trading, but also in areas such as technology transfer, infrastructure development and storage and handling,” he said.
For further information contact Jo O’Connell in AWB Limited Public Affairs on (03) 9209 2555 or 0407 310 250