As part of its effort to improve the transparency of its crop shaping processes, AWB National Pool has appointed two new independent panel members to its variety classification panel.
The new members, Di Miskelly of Allied Mills in Sydney, and Graham Crosbie from the Department of Agriculture WA, will join the AWB National Pool Classification Panel, which makes quality grade decisions on new and existing wheat varieties for the Australian crop. The panel also includes representatives from the Wheat Product Development Group of AWB National Pool.
General Manager AWB National Pool, Sarah Scales, said the external appointments were part of an effort to improve the transparency of the crop shaping and classification process, and stemmed from the recommendations of an independent review undertaken earlier this year.
The Panel will adopt a formal approach with four sitting dates per year, and steps will be taken towards standardised data presentation and reporting formats.
Ms Scales said all finalised decisions and outcomes of the panel will continue to be posted on the AWB website, which included a new crop shaping section containing the market and quality information presented at AWB’s inaugural wheat breeding forum held earlier this year.
“The ability to respond to customer requirements and shape the quality of the national wheat crop to meet them, is a key advantage of Australia’s wheat marketing system,” Ms Scales said.
“By taking these steps we hope to improve transparency and industry confidence in the Pool’s classification process and can better show growers, breeders and end-users how quality decisions are made for the benefit of the AWB National Pool,” Ms Scales said.
Ms Scales said AWB was working closely with the wheat breeding industry and developing initiatives to further facilitate the classification process. She said AWB had commenced a laboratory accreditation process for wheat breeding organisations and other industry participants, allowing them to better understand the requirements of the classification process, and to confidently provide data that meets those requirements.
AWB also continues to provide a free testing service for breeding companies wishing to have varieties assessed which they feel have a high likelihood of release.