WAFF to talk with AWB Ltd

23 Jan, 2001 03:00 PM

THE WA Farmers Federation is working with AWB Limited to resolve the difficulties experienced by growers who have delivered to multigrade contracts. WAFF also will attempt to solve teething problems with the new Golden Rewards payment system, introduced for the 2000-01 harvest. Members of the WAFF grains section, led by section president Bob Iffla, will meet with AWB Ltd chief executive officer Andrew Lindberg this week to push for a better deal. Under the current system, wheatgrowers who forward contracted grain to AWB Ltd are being hit with a $30 per tonne downgrade as soon as their screenings top five per cent, while growers who deliver to the pool face comparatively minor penalties. Mr Iffla said he would ask AWB Ltd senior management why growers who had delivered to multigrade contracts were being disadvantaged with screening levels of more than five percent, compared with the poolers, who delivered to the same segregated stack of wheat. In monetary terms, growers with 0.5pc extra screenings (5.5pc), delivering to the APW 10 pool, were being docked only $1.10/t, while forward contracted growers with 5.5pc screenings met either a $30/t downgrade or $15/t grading costs. High screenings across WA also meant some growers had little chance of securing other growers¹ wheat to meet their contracts. Mr Iffla said WAFF was doing whatever it could to sort out the problem, starting with this week¹s meeting with Mr Lindberg in WA. ³We have to get a better arrangement because the current one is unfair,² Mr Iffla said. He said WAFF would be working as closely as possible with AWB Ltd to come to a reasonable solution. Despite what he believed was a common goal with regard to the issue, Mr Iffla sent a pre-meeting warning to the peak body. ³Quite frankly, if we don¹t resolve the problem, I don¹t think there will be too many people who will be interested in entering into forward contracts again,² Mr Iffla said. ³We hope Mr Lindberg sees the problem first hand and I believe he will do whatever he can to remedy the problem and other problems growers have with AWB. ³Mr Lindberg is keen to hear how we can improve Golden Rewards and return more money to growers. One option, according to Mr Iffla, was the introduction of grower load averaging in the Goldern Rewards system, which would continue to encourage individuals to produce high quality wheat, and be rewarded for it. Other issues to be discussed at this week¹s meeting include: pgrain payment statements; pcleaning grain before shipping; pmore payment options; and plower pool charges. ÿ


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