Bunge keen to tap into grain growth

26 Sep, 2014 02:00 AM
 Transport Minister Dean Nalder (left), Bunge Limited CEO Soren Schroder, Bunge Asia CEO Michael Goettl and Bunge Australia general manager Chris Aucote.
For Bunge globally the farmer represents the beginning of the value chain
Transport Minister Dean Nalder (left), Bunge Limited CEO Soren Schroder, Bunge Asia CEO Michael Goettl and Bunge Australia general manager Chris Aucote.

BUNGE Australia will aim to provide a competitive and straight forward link to global markets and add value to farm businesses in the process according to Bunge Limited chief executive officer Soren Schroder.

During a whirlwind trip to the State's South West to launch Bunge Australia's first bulk grain export facility in Bunbury last week, Mr Schroder said the company had a strong global market network, competitive logistics and a proven and trusted team which would serve WA farmers.

"For Bunge globally the farmer represents the beginning of the value chain and the beginning of our business," Mr Schroder said.

"Building strong and lasting relationships is at the core of our strategy, whether in South America, North America, the Black Sea or here in WA."

In an address to attendees, Mr Schroder said Bunge aimed to promote free trade and to provide its customers with a supply of quality products year round.

"That requires competitive access to all important origins and Bunbury is an important addition to our global supply network which covers the US, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Romania and Russia," he said.

"We know global agricultural trade will expand quickly, that free trade reduces volatility and promotes economic growth.

"What we are building here with you is another trusted supply chain which will help meet food security requirements over the next 40 years.

"Bunge has been in the agricultural trade for over 196 years and in many ways we feel like we are just getting started."

Speaking with Farm Weekly at the event, Mr Schroder, who manages the company's global operations spanning 40 countries, said Bunge's decision to invest in WA came down to its status as Australia's largest export surplus State.

"It was really about trying to tap into infrastructure that we could utilise with other players," Mr Schroder said.

"In order to accomplish this we needed to use existing capacity rather then investing hundreds of millions of dollars to establish a new berth, this is really an efficient way for us to get started."

Mr Schroder said the new export infrastructure would provide WA growers with competitive access to the global market, a shorter supply chain and lower costs.

"In addition to that we hope we can service them in other ways including advice about marketing and logistics and ensuring things work like clockwork," he said.

"I believe we already have the beginnings of this with the scheduling of the trucks, which is also part of the safety and logistics management, to manage the number of trucks that run through the highway system.

"We can do more than just price, but we will ask the farmers at the end of the season and we hope most of them will acknowledge this as a positive experience."

Mr Schroder said while the biggest growth markets were South East Asia and China, there were also large sections of the Middle East and Latin America that were emerging as opportunities.

"There really is growth everywhere but as far as Australia is concerned the biggest growth is emerging out of Indonesia,

Speaking on the company's latest investment, which will expand its Australian bulk grain export footprint to include Geelong in Victoria, and export about a proposed 450,000 tonnes of grain each year, Mr Schroder would not confirm whether the company had considered any other sites over Australia.

"I think our focus is now getting these two sites up to capacity and then as that happens we will continue to work," he said.

"There will be other opportunities but we now have to execute what we hope to do at these two sites."

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Philip Downie
26/09/2014 6:36:00 AM, on The Land

The farmer is the beginning of the Bunge value chain. Not the farmers' value chain.
26/09/2014 6:36:28 AM, on Farm Weekly

and they won't settle for a measly 500,000t when there is another 12-16mmt still on the table. welcome to the West boys. We are open for business if you can pry open the cracks in the CBH crumbling monopoly.
28/09/2014 9:47:14 PM, on The Land

What a great snake oil salesman Bunge's Mr. Schroder is. Read his words carefully:- We farmers are the beginning of Bunge's value chain; free trade reduces volatility - (REALLY, Where & When?); Bunge has been in the supply chain 196 years, & yet are somehow providing a new supply chain - (Isn't 196 years an old supply chain?). If Bunge has been around 196 years, they are not a new supply chain are they. With farmers now divided, weak negotiators, it is farmers that are giving Bunge new profit opportunities, & that's the only reason they are expanding here, to take $$s out of our share.
Jock Munro
29/09/2014 4:59:41 AM, on The Land

The Rudd Government and the Liberals gifted the Australian wheat industry to the merchants and they are keen to squeeze as much profit out of it as they can.
29/09/2014 7:35:54 AM, on Farm Weekly

hyden says 'it is farmers that are giving Bunge new profit opportunities,'. No mate it is CBH opening the door! if CBH were servicing everyones needs there would be no opportunities left for the multinationals. And if CBHs charges weren't so high there wouldn't be incentive enough for investment in competing now would there. Now back to the caltrop, cobba.
29/09/2014 8:31:14 AM, on The Land

CBH has very little to do with Bunge's WA entry, Consolidated. Probably makes little difference what CBH does even though they are the world's most efficient and Australia's lowest cost storage and grain handler. Bunge will make so much money out of farmers in their trading operations now that the single desk is gone, that competing storage is almost irrelevant. But if you can't see that today, you will eventually. They might seem like Mr nice guy today but they are here for your money, not your friendship. Once they have you by the you know whats, your heart and mind will follow.
29/09/2014 12:56:21 PM, on The Land

The day I died somebody made a huge profit selling short in many markets, 2.6 million shares were sold in the greatest panic since 1929, as a result someone made half a billion dollars that day. Bunge financially controlled Allied Crude Vegetable Oil Refining, they too crashed the same day, driving the market down.
29/09/2014 4:54:10 PM, on Farm Weekly

One thing is for sure Hyden young lad, CBH has their pound of flesh every year. so the way i see it is better to have two of them or more trying to attract my business. Did you get more than one quote for your last capital purchase? Who knows you may even choose the cheaper option when we move off the hymn sheet and into the real world with some choice? Its like the shoppers who say they'll always buy organic until they are looking at the price tags and ultimately buying the homebrand. Looking forward to some clearing sales in the coming years anyway
30/09/2014 7:21:24 AM, on The Land

Don't be too cute Consolidated. Yours will be one of the clearing sales. Have you studied what happens in USA & EU where, for decades, they have had the same system we are now learning. It fails so miserably in USA & EU that their family farms are given $trillions in subsidies to keep them on the land. Their is no way our Government would or could afford that so it is only a matter of time before your bank will be arranging your clearing sale and departure. Open your eyes and look past the end of your nose and practice a little humility. You are going to need it.


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