Australian wheat growers will remain loyal to AWB in the new deregulated export market if it provides the best commercial deal, according to the latest research by IPSOS consultants.
The IPSOS research confirms that Australian wheat growers will make their grain marketing decisions based on four key factors: price and incentives, security of payment and service.
The research found a unanimous view that price and being a ‘good player’ are the bottom line when it comes to a ‘good buyer’ of Australian wheat.
“Whilst there is certainly some positive sentiment towards AWB, wheat growers are most loyal to price and security of payment, so it essentially depends what the deal is,” the research found. ”If AWB does not offer a good price or maintain security of payment, then growers will turn to other buyers and distributors that will give them what they want."
The research undermines claims that the retention of A class shares as part of a dual class share holding structure are essential to maintain grower loyalty in the new deregulated wheat export market.
“A class shares do not factor into grower decisions on whether to do business with AWB versus competitors, even among advocates of A class shares,” the IPSOS research says. “Price per tonne is the primary factor when choosing who to do business with any grain marketer. Reliability and security of payment are also extremely important factors.”
AWB Managing Director, Gordon Davis, said the company understands grower concerns about the uncertainties generated by the move to the new deregulated wheat export market.
“That is why AWB wants to amend the company Constitution – so AWB has the best possible chance of providing a competitive deal to wheat growers in the new deregulated market,” Mr Davis said.
“If the status quo is maintained, AWB will be forced to compete against bulk handlers and the multinational traders with one hand tied behind its back and will not be able to offer wheat growers the best commercial deal.”
Mr Davis encouraged A Class shareholders to cast their vote by faxing their completed voting forms to the AWB share registry manager, Computershare, on 1800 800 053 or by voting on-line at http://www.awb.com.au/ before the cut-off date of 2 pm AEST on Tuesday, 19 August 2008.
Media Inquiries: Peter McBride, 03 9209 2174 or 0417 662 451
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