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."