AWB has taken another step to incorporate moisture into its Golden Rewards program, by announcing new initiatives upon which the system will be based.
AWB General Manager National Pool Sarah Scales said AWB would retain a maximum receival standard of 12.5% for moisture, but would increase tolerance levels to provide flexibility for growers and bulk handlers.
“This means we will quote 2002/03 estimated pool returns at a moisture base rate of 12.5%,” Ms Scales said.
“Although the receival standards remain the same, we have increased the moisture tolerance levels to 13% in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, and to 13.5% in South Australian and Western Australia.
“The increased tolerance means bulk handlers will be able to receive grain up to the new levels, provided they can outturn grain at the standards required by our international and domestic customers.
“The different tolerance levels for different states reflects the varying ability of bulk handlers to manage higher moisture grain, and take responsibility for outturn standards.
“AWB must continue to ensure its is providing our buying customers with the clean, dry and white wheat Australia has established a reputation for providing, and for which we are able to extract a market premium,” Ms Scales said.
Ms Scales said today’s announcement followed months of work by AWB’s moisture taskforce – which included representatives from bulk handlers, grain millers and the Grains Council of Australia – as well as close consultation with customers.
This taskforce also commissioned CSIRO’s Stored Grains Research Laboratory to undertake extensive analysis of the impacts of increasing the grain moisture tolerance level on grain storage and grain quality.
“AWB has made a commitment to addressing the moisture issue through Golden Rewards, which will allow us to establish premiums or discounts based on grain moisture content and which means growers’ Pool returns will better reflect the quality of grain they deliver,” Ms Scales said.
“We are fine tuning the details of the Golden Rewards active payment scales, and will present those numbers by June once we have established pool pay grade spreads for each 2002/03 National Pool estimated return.
“However, we have opted to announce the new moisture tolerances now to allow growers, and other wheat buyers to begin factoring these arrangements into their business operations, and to ensure the transition to the new system is transparent and as seamless as possible,” Ms Scales said.