Clauson to push grower sustainability

28 Jan, 2016 04:00 AM
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Trayning grower Derek Clauson is seeking re-election for CBH's District 2 member position with a view to keep pushing the co-operative towards a strong and healthy supply chain for the good of WA growers.
CBH should be generating the maximum possible value for growers on a year-by-year basis
Trayning grower Derek Clauson is seeking re-election for CBH's District 2 member position with a view to keep pushing the co-operative towards a strong and healthy supply chain for the good of WA growers.

By RACHAEL OXBORROW

WA growers would see their sustainability put first under a re-elected District 2 director Derek Clauson, the Trayning grower said.

Mr Clauson has served one three-year term and has pledged to strengthen the co-operative if re-elected.

"I believe CBH's core business of storage and handling, rail transport assets and port facilities must remain a non-distributing co-operative," he said.

"CBH should be generating the maximum possible value for growers on a year-by-year basis.

"Some of the non-core subsidiaries and investments may be of greater value to members if they were held in an entity where members have direct equity and choice of participation."

Mr Clauson said he was committed to a network strategy with a rail outcome, equality of access despite location and increased grain volume to port during important windows.

"We must get our grain to port in the most efficient and cost effective way possible," he said.

"To give us a chance in the international market with sea freight rates being as low as they are, distance is no longer the advantage that it was.

"The emerging Black Sea producers are becoming a real threat to Australian producers.

"Their quality is continuing to improve so they're heading toward competing with us on a pure cost basis rather than a quality differential basis and that means we have to get our act into gear."

Mr Clauson said work during his first term on reviewing the network was beginning to come to fruition and he wants to follow it through.

"I think the storage and handling grain transportation rail assets all belong within a co-operative structure," he said.

"That way it stays grower owned and focused on delivering maximum value to growers but providing the best cheapest service possible to the marketers as well so that CBH is seen by the marketers as an asset to them."

Mr Clauson said with whole of industry support CBH had the potential to lead WA through many future generations of growers, but he conceded changes were needed.

He highlighted a rail access outcome was needed required, as was improved throughput at the sites that were considered key locations in the supply chain.

He outlined the need for future CBH investments to meet short and long-term benchmarks so that growers benefited from the venture immediately either through rebates or savings.

"A lot of people are in two minds about the fertiliser investment and it's really part of a move to try and influence farmers input costs to have some bearing on how the market treats growers," Mr Clauson said.

"We're trying to say, well we have the capability to go into the fertiliser market and look at other markets where we don't think product is being priced into the marketplace on a competitive basis.

"It's all about driving benefits to growers.

"We don't think there's any plans for CBH to become huge in the fertiliser market at this point in time, but there are other things where costs are creeping up and getting to a level where they present a major part of the budget.

"Fuel is obviously one of those, we have looked at assisting growers in the way of finance by our pre-pay advantage package which is very popular."

The past WAFarmers Grains Council president, local shire president and deputy president has served for 20 years on various Australian Securities Exchange-listed company boards.

"I believe I bring some real corporate experience to the board and I'm very commercially focused and I like to achieve outcomes that are positive," he said.

"I have a passion for trying to ensure the viability of WA growers, many of whom farm in some of the most difficult farming conditions in the world.

"I think we need to improve communication within our membership so they understand where we are going, we could become more transparent and we need to back some of the judgements we make and show real faith in them.

"I really believe as far as Derek Clauson is concerned I'm all for investing all the money we can in WA before we spend too much overseas.

"The board has become much more intrusive into some of our investments and setting standards for those investments that they expect those investments to meet."

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READER COMMENTS

Genex
28/01/2016 12:42:51 PM, on Farm Weekly

Mr Clauson what are the ASX listed companies you served on? I'm sure if they were successful you would have no trouble in telling us their names!
drowning in debt
29/01/2016 7:39:37 AM, on Farm Weekly

mr clauson when questioned at the moora pre harvest meetings about the fertilizer push 'well we know this wont make any money but we had to do it for the growers' you could have heard a penny drop. obviously this means higher storage and handling charges??????
Consolidated
29/01/2016 7:44:23 AM, on Farm Weekly

So lets start a fertilizer war when prices are at decade lows? Who is funding the discounting here Mr Clauson? I would suggest it will be me and my fellow growers who will be asked to continue to swallow some of the higher network charges in the top exporter block.
beacon boy
29/01/2016 7:49:47 AM, on Farm Weekly

whilst cheaper fertilizer is always welcome, me suspects this is going to come back to bite us in the form of higher storage/handling costs. growers can see through this. i guess when you havbe an open cheque book and you run a political organisation, you can throw all your resources (our hard earned) into preserving the political organisation
retiring soon
29/01/2016 8:44:39 AM, on Farm Weekly

After a lifetime of funding the co-op and in my later years of farming, none of these directors are addressing the elephant in the room - being able to get access to equity after a lifetime of servitude and forced loyalty. Put all the encumbents back onto their farms to send a clear message, shareholders aren't a pot of gold.
gone fishing!
29/01/2016 9:54:37 AM, on Farm Weekly

There is something not right about these guys getting paid $100k to drive our storage and handling costs higher. None of them have any track record outside of their farms so can we please understand why they should be making multimillion dollar investments that simply reduce our rebates and lead to higher costs . Come to think about it, if costs weren't so high, we wouldn't need a rebate
Rural Realist
29/01/2016 10:35:44 PM, on Farm Weekly

Dear Retiring Soon, I might point out that equity can't be pulled out of a hat. I'd value my land at roughly $500/acre. If my FOB costs were $20 higher I'd only value it at $300/acre max. That extra $200/acre in value is there because I have a cooperative freight and handling system to get my grain to port. And I can borrow against that $200/acre. So before you jump off that cliff chasing carrots, just make sure there's enough carrots.
Western Cocky
3/02/2016 9:22:57 AM, on Farm Weekly

Realist what your really saying is you prefer your land prices rising rather than ours here in the Western (close to port) areas. Of course we all know we keep your boat floating out there but we are growing tired of always footing the bill. I'm putting in 2000t on farm storage this year. I've had enough
Socialist agenda
3/02/2016 10:32:10 AM, on Farm Weekly

So you are pulling $200/acre of equity out of the hat Realist? Or is it out of the pockets of hard working cockies west of you?

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I am in no position to comment on the issues between Culleton and the ANZ or the other farmers
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To MERELY enquire about getting a key cut to move a vehiicle that does not belong to you. Mr