AWB Limited’s Managing Director Andrew Lindberg welcomed the supportive position taken by the Federal government for the existing single desk marketing arrangements at this week’s Grains Trans Summit in Sydney.
"There has been a strong political lobby campaign by bulk handling companies to start the Single Desk at port and it is pleasing the government has seen through all the rhetoric," said Mr Lindberg.
"In his Grain Trans speech, Minister Truss indicated that it is hard to see how starting the Single Desk at port would not require a return to regulation and statutory marketing," said Mr Lindberg.
"Minister Truss also stressed the importance of having export marketing arrangements which provide the necessary stock information to allow the development and planning of overseas marketing strategies.
"In addition, Minister Truss underlined the importance of the single desk holder being able to meet customer requirements through blending.
"He also stressed the importance of grower access to the pool and pool returns, and transparency of pricing and costs.
"We agree with Minister Truss that when you analyse the Single Desk at port proposal against these criteria, it simply does not stack up," said Mr Lindberg.
Minister Truss also pointed out this is an issue for growers to debate rather than governments and the Wheat Export Authority to consider.
"At port is a simplistic concept which does not logically stack up when put to the test. It would threaten our ability to provide exact market specifications, make it difficult to maintain the National Pool, end Golden Rewards and see a return to cliff face pricing, and would remove competitive pressures to reduce supply chain costs," said Mr Lindberg.
"At present, growers are proud to produce the best quality wheat which is recognised around the world and achieves premium prices in the international marketplace. Moving the single desk to start at port would threaten Australia’s ability to maintain quality, and our key marketing advantage would be lost.
"We welcome the leadership shown by Minister Truss over this important industry issue," said Mr Lindberg.