Shadbolt focuses on families and farms

28 Jan, 2016 04:00 AM
Nungarin grower John Shadbolt is vying for a CBH board position with a platform of longevity and sustainability of WA growers.
I think we have to adapt more quickly
Nungarin grower John Shadbolt is vying for a CBH board position with a platform of longevity and sustainability of WA growers.

FOR John Shadbolt, the future of CBH lies in a focus on families, farms and future planning.

The Nungarin grower is nominating for the CBH board as a director for District 2 with a focus of the co-operative driving value back to the growers.

Mr Shadbolt said he has concerns that without improving CBH's systems with growers instead of cost savings in mind, CBH would cease to exist for the benefit of growers.

"I would like to see things like the supply chain tightening to make it more efficient and stave off any opportunities for other businesses like Bunge to come in," he said.

"I think we have to adapt more quickly, we have to look once again at the transport model, we have to look at the bins and where they're all placed so that we can get as many efficiencies into our supply chain as possible.

"But all this needs to be done with consultation with growers. It can't be something that's dropped on them overnight.

"There is some consultation now but I don't think it goes deep enough, I think growers need to know if there is a strategic plan for the business.

"What is it? Is there a strategic plan for the supply chain? If there is, what is it?"

Mr Shadbolt is running against incumbent Trayning grower Derek Clauson.

He brings his experience of years of work in his local community, particularly through the Country Football League, and has eight years of experience with the Shire of Nungarin as a councillor and vice president.

"My passion is our country towns, our communities and our people and keeping them all here," he said.

"CBH is a very big part of that picture.

"I just want to see an efficient CBH which is run strategically and run lean and can return real value to growers.

"Other nominees have said the future of CBH is about fuel, fertiliser and finance, but I disagree.

"It is about families, farms and the future.

"That's what the focus should be on, keeping us all here."

Mr Shadbolt said he had concerns the election process was incorrectly focused on the directors and their opinions on the structure of CBH.

He believes the focus should be on the issues that make the company the best leader for growers.

"Really, the directors have very little influence on which way the company goes. If an offer is put to the board, the board is required to put that offer to grower members,'' he said.

"Ultimately, it is up to the grower members to decide what direction they want the co-op to go so I don't think it's a relevant issue for any of us to push right now.

"Personally, I support the co-operative but there is a lot of work to do to make it efficient and competitive.

"My big concern is that the more uncompetitive CBH is, the more our competition will see an opportunity to enter the WA market.

"The most important thing to be talking about is the direction of the board and the direction of the business and the way the business is run, which is the directors' job."

He said the co-operative's transport strategy and rationalisation strategy needed to be dealt with simultaneously.

"I think the whole transport strategy needs to be re-looked at and with that we'll see the best grain flow to port," Mr Shadbolt said.

"Personally I'm not in favour of the Tier 3 lines being shut down but we need to have a good look at the whole set up to get efficiencies out of our supply chain.

"I think rail is part of the puzzle and I think the shires have got to be involved in the consultation going forward.

"If there's going to be rationalisation of bins it directly affects the shire as far as the major transport routes and the upkeep of those routes.

"Shires have been involved in looking at transport routes in the past but I think it hasn't been looked at in a thorough way in terms of the whole network."

Mr Shadbolt said his insight into community structure and his local shire would be of benefit to the CBH board and would allow him to work towards "real value being put back into our pockets".



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