Priority must be on farmer unity: GCA

22 Sep, 2005 07:00 PM

FORMER Wyalkatchem farmer of 20 years, Grains Council of Australia (GCA) president Murray Jones, was back in WA to tour the WANTFA spring field days and start uniting the industry.

Mr Jones said he knew a lot of farmers from the Wheatbelt area and it was good to see how they were all doing and to get feedback on the direction he was taking the council.

"The focus will be unity," Mr Jones said.

"Pulling the industry together, working from the farm level to the marketing level.

"We might not achieve it but we will get it started."

Mr Jones said there needed to be restored trust from farmers in the GCA's national policy with the deed of agreement for the national bio-security plan to be signed in the next week or two.

"The bio-security plan will be similar to what the livestock industry has," Mr Jones said.

"It is important that we have a risk plan in place."

There are other areas GCA will be focusing on, including reducing dependency on the export market.

"There are opportunities for the future," Mr Jones said.

"Things change, things that we thought impossible are happening.

"We need to develop the industry within our own country before heading overseas.

"With products made from grain starch and Ethanol, which are environmentally friendly and better for our health, there are definitely areas for growth."

Mr Jones admitted the industry had problems and said some of the reasons were due to the rising cost of fuel.

"I have a copy of Farm Weekly from the 1980s which shows that the export prices we have now were the same then," Mr Jones said.

He will attend other events in WA, such as the Mingenew field days, as well as meeting industry members, before returning to Queensland.


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