Australia's changing grain role

20 Jul, 2015 02:00 AM
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More than a dozen local and international company CEOs and chairs will speak at the conference

AUSTRALIA'S premier grains industry conference, AGIC 2015, will feature industry leaders from the US, Canada, Asia and Brazil as well as Australia.

Major initiatives and changes to be rolled out at this year’s conference include a new venue, the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, and a GRDC growers day on the first day, July 27.

A highlight of the second day, when the AGIC conference agenda gets underway, will be a new agribusiness lunch, where attendees will hear from advertising and marketing guru Russel Howcroft, executive general manager of the Ten Network, who shot to national prominence as a panellist on the ABC’s The Gruen Transfer.

The dedicated growers' day program will provide grain farmers with access to key international and local speakers who will discuss the issues, challenges and trends impacting on farm profitability.

Bridget McKenzie, the Nationals Senator for Victoria, will open the growers’ day.

Senator McKenzie passionately believes strong regional economies are critical to the future prosperity of Australia.

Her experiences as a secondary school teacher and university lecturer have fuelled her passion for education and our youth.

She is chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment and an active member of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and its Trade sub-committee.

A number of leading international speakers, including Jorge Karl, head of big Brazilian farmer co-operative, Agraria, and Emily French, a US farmer and founder of ConsiliAgra, a consultancy and strategy group which specialises in global grains and oilseeds markets, will also speak at the growers’ day.

Local speakers will include Simon Talbot, CEO of the National Farmers' Federation; John Harvey, managing director of the Grains Research and Development Corporation; Andrew Weidmann, chair of Grain Producers Australia, and Dr Siang Hee Tan, executive director of CropLife Asia.

Sessions during AGIC 2015 will follow the theme of “Australia’s changing role in the global grain industry” and have a heavy focus on demand in the rapidly growing Asian region.

Networking opportunities

Conference organiser Rosemary Richards said she was delighted with the line-up of speakers at this year’s conference.

More than a dozen local and international company CEOs and chairs will speak at the conference, which will be officially opened by Senator Penny Wong, Shadow Minister for Trade.

Senator Wong will be followed by Emily French, from the US-based ConsiliAgra, who will be the key speaker during the opening session titled “Grain markets and outlook: Asia at the centre of the world”.

The Asian region will dominate the first morning where the speakers will include Graham Hodges, deputy CEO of ANZ; Mark Palmquist, CEO of GrainCorp, and Greg Harvey, managing director and chief executive of Singapore-based Interflour Holdings.

The afternoon session will include a major discussion about the implication of recent free trade agreements for the grain industry. The panel of speakers will include Andy Crane, CEO of the CBH Group and Yasushi Takahashi, Mitsui’s Australian chairman and CEO.

Sessions on the final day of the conference will cover the changing market outlook for pulses and maize as well as examining global supply chains and the lessons for Australia and the role of technology in meeting global grain demand.

Joel Fitzgibbon, the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, and Nick Goddard, executive director of the Australian Oilseeds Federation, will speak during the closing session, which will be followed by the CBH grains industry conference dinner at 7pm.

AGIC 2015 will offer networking opportunities for delegates, speakers and trade exhibitors. As the Australian grains industry continues to be a focus for international customers, suppliers and investors, AGIC 2015 will provide the chance for those interested in the Australian or global grains industry to hear the latest news, outlook and trends shaping the industry’s future.

More than 950 delegates and over 30 exhibitors attended the conference in 2014 and a similar or expanded participation is expected in 2015.

Fairfax Media is the official media partner for the conference.

Keep up to date with the latest conference news online. More information available by calling (02) 9427 6999 or via email.

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FarmOnline
Vernon Graham

Vernon Graham

is the group editor of Fairfax Agricultural Media
Date: Newest first | Oldest first

READER COMMENTS

Jock Munro
20/07/2015 4:45:53 AM

The Annual AGIC event is a merchant big day out that celebrates the deregulation of the wheat industry(by Rudd Labor and Nelson's Liberals) and the transfer of control from growers to the middleman. The growers day out is a cynical exercise designed to make naive growers (especially younger ones) feel good about themselves. Meanwhile the merchant will continue to gouge growers at every opportunity and lower the quality and relative value of our wheat. The evidence is clearly there for everyone to see as we drift away from premium market places. There will be no shortage of spin.
muck jockro
20/07/2015 8:01:49 AM

I was surprised to see Jock that you think the young growers are the naïve ones. I would have thought any old (mainly older growers) that were rusted on to a corrupt single desk were the naïve ones.
ProfitAg
20/07/2015 10:14:16 AM

Jock, The AGIC conference provides a good forum for a range of ideas and interaction. "Remember the mind is like a parachute - it doesn't function until it is open." and before you accuse I am a full paying delegate with no merchant connections.
MiddleMan Merchant
20/07/2015 11:57:46 AM

Are you coming down for it, Jock? A few of us Merchants are getting together for the annual Deregulation Party. Would be great if you could join us. It would be your shout of course.
Jock Munro
20/07/2015 7:37:33 PM

Middle Man Merchant, I am not surprised that you and your merchant colleagues will be celebrating another year of deregulation where you have gained control of the Australian wheat crop and you are to gouge with impunity and no obligation to anyone but your own balance sheets. You ought to be taking members of the Liberal and Labor organisations with you. ProfitAg- I dare say you are either a consultant or a market analyst- there is no shortage of people lining up to pluck money out of the grower's pocket.
Mock Junro
21/07/2015 10:53:01 AM

Actually Jock, Senator Penny wong is opening the conference, maybe she will come share a bev!
The Drover
21/07/2015 11:27:31 AM

I'm astounded at the abuse given to Jock Munro when he is completely correct on so many issues, particularly the damage to Australian farmers by removing the single desk. Naive young farmers indeed, not realizing merchants are making a clear $100+ profit on every ton of wheat they trade, after costs. I wonder how many "progressive" young farmers remember the $300/t in 1994 (over twenty years ago), or the Golden Rewards payment system? The AWB may have had some shady characters but it wasn't corrupt and the single desk was the unity Australian farmers had to compete strongly with competitors.
Unhappy cocky
22/07/2015 7:04:39 AM

Yeah drover I remember Wa farmers cross subsidising you eastern growers when your domestic market let you down. You are the naive one thinking that golden rewards was anything but a transfer from one grower to another.
Deregul8
22/07/2015 8:34:01 AM

Drover if you believe that claptrap then you seriously are deluded. Basis + Australian dollar corrected futures prices calls you a fool.
Mark2
22/07/2015 10:57:00 AM

Can't wait for senator Wongs interpretation of the industries future
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