AWB Limited remains committed to forming a strong partnership with CBH and ensuring a world-class, grower controlled WA wheat industry, AWB Limited Chairman Brendan Stewart said today.
Mr Stewart said AWB was seeking to continue negotiations with CBH, in order to develop a joint proposal for the future of the industry.
"For the past 18 months AWB and CBH have been jointly developing a proposal for a fully integrated, WA grain industry organisation," Mr Stewart said.
"The basis for our vision is a world-class, sustainable and integrated grain industry in WA, via a partnership agreement between AWB and CBH and the retention of the national wheat Single Desk.
"AWB is committed to investing in WA and has continually stated that our preferred approach is to partner with CBH," Mr Stewart said
Mr Stewart said only through a full partnership between the two organisations would growers capture the full benefits, synergies and resultant cost savings within the WA supply chain.
AWB’s fundamental principles for developing that partnership include:
· Preserve and enhance the value of the national wheat Single Desk
· Maximise net returns to growers
· Achieve a globally competitive, fully integrated and grower controlled Australian grain organisation
· Protect and enhance the integrity of the AWB brand
· Directly undertake activities central to achieving a sustainable competitive advantage
"AWB’s vision is based around a true 50:50 partnership that delivers value for WA growers, CBH and AWB, with a structure that keeps the industry owned and controlled by growers," Mr Stewart said.
"Our model respects the historical investment that WA growers have placed in CBH and a key principle within it is that the ownership of CBH assets remain with WA growers," Mr Stewart said.
Mr Stewart said CBH had recently released a proposal that focuses on a potential service agreement, and which acknowledges there is an opportunity to reduce supply chain costs for the benefit of WA growers.
"AWB and AWB International are currently considering the details in the service agreement proposal made public by CBH. While the proposal deals with one component of the overall CBH/AWB relationship, we still need to remain focused on the bigger picture and what will secure our long-term viability - that is, an integrated WA wheat industry which the industry has been telling us they want," Mr Stewart said.
"We remain clearly committed to exploring how AWB and CBH can enter into a mutually beneficial partnership that maximises value to growers," Mr Stewart said.