Ten growers from Southern NSW and Victoria have departed today on a self-funded paddock to plate tour of key overseas markets.
Regional office staff from Yarrawonga and Swan Hill are hosting the tour to enable the growers to gain a better understanding of major markets and competitors in Egypt, Canada and the United States. The tour will work through the entire spectrum of port discharge, milling and manufacture, marketing and futures and options trading.
AWB’s Southern Regional Manager Andrew McConville said the tour will help to better educate growers about how AWB Limited operates in overseas markets, improve their understanding of futures and risk management and give them exposure to some of Australia’s key competitors.
“Tour participants will meet with growers in the United States and Canada, allowing them to exchange information and to improve their understanding of what drives the competition. This will help broaden our growers’ knowledge of agricultural facets, including marketing, logistics, agronomy and machinery,” Mr McConville said.
“How better to learn than seeing it first hand,” said Mr McConville.
The group departs Melbourne today and arrives in Cairo for a tour of industry mills, local bakeries and the Five Star Flour Mill, which is part owned by AWB. Five Star uses 100% Australian wheat and is one of the largest flour mills in the world.
In the United States growers will meet with representatives from the American Farm Bureau, local farmers and will be taken on a tour of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) where they will meet with AWB’s US brokers.
“The CBOT is the world’s oldest derivatives exchange with 48 different futures and options products traded, and a volume of more than 233 million contracts,” said Mr McConville.
“The key focus of this visit to the CBOT is to educate growers in all aspects of price risk management through the use of futures and options. AWB will demonstrate internal trade strategies used to protect Australian growers through the National Pool against adverse price movements,” Mr McConville said.
The group with move on from the US to Canada, where they will meet with local farmers, visit the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) and the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange (WCE), the world’s largest oilseeds futures exchange.
“The WCE is Canada’s only agricultural futures and options exchange and is the world’s largest provider of price discovery and risk management tools for canola”, said Mr McConville.
The tour will conclude in Portland, the centre for AWB’s operations in North and South America. AWB’s Portland office is responsible for the company’s international hedging operations and coordinating AWB’s activities in trading other grains.
“In what is a full itinerary, growers will obtain a good understanding of the markets from grower, seller, buyer, trader and government perspectives. The attending growers will be able to compare and contrast the different markets and gain a better understanding of how to best to market their own grain”, Mr McConville said.