GGL to play a role in uniting grains industry

11 Sep, 2016 02:00 AM
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GGL board candidate Daniel Cooper says the organisation must engage with other lobby groups for the good of the industry.
GGL board candidate Daniel Cooper says the organisation must engage with other lobby groups for the good of the industry.

The Grain Growers Ltd (GGL) annual general meeting (AGM) on September 27 provides members the opportunity to reflect on the past year and question the benefits GGL delivered to its members.

With profitability front and centre for the coming harvest and with wheat prices hitting a new 10 year low, opportunities for GGL to play an important role in improving members bottom lines should be a significant priority.

Whilst it’s not possible for GGL to directly impact grain prices, it has a role to play in effecting change through government policy and sector groups in the areas of trade and market access (free trade agreements in particular) and improving supply chains.

Moreover, as a joint Representative Organisation (RO), GGL needs to ensure that Grain, Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) activities and investments meet levy payer’s objectives. All of these directly and indirectly impact a farmer’s hip pocket.

Key to the success of the new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) will be ensuring non-tariff barriers are addressed.

Recent examples in China where barley, sorghum and canola exports from Australia have been affected by non-tariff barriers highlights the need for prompt action.

The success of FTAs, lies squarely on the grain industry’s ability to affect supply chain alignment. There must be a unified focus on lowering supply chain costs, looking for higher value markets and increasing the overall demand for Australian wheat.

Failure to do so will see the opportunities from fast growing markets in Asia remain just that – opportunities, not reality.

With markets being opened up and tariffs reduced or eliminated, Australia’s grain supply chain must be addressed.

The inefficiencies and lack of investment can only be described as third world.

Australian farmers are the most productive and efficient producers but once the grain leaves the farm, efficiencies deteriorate swiftly. The antiquated rail network and the high cost that comes with it, is an ongoing issue eroding our geographic advantage into Asia.

The above issues I’ve highlighted are nothing new.

Critical to these issues being addressed is farm representation and the need for unification.

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) has outlined a clear direction for reforming farm representation under their “Streamline and Strengthen” project.

It is imperative that the grain industry must now become part of this with the peak bodies aligning with NFF’s restructure.

I’m not advocating GGL integrate into NFF, but it must assist and work with Grain Producers Australia (GPA) in establishing grain as a commodity arm under the restructure.

This will be the only way the challenges facing members will be addressed promptly. This will also allow GGL to focus on the “Industry Good” functions like promoting Australian grain, and trade and market access.

Brett Hosking and myself have worked closely together over the last three years as leaders of our respective state representative organisations.

This has given us both a great understanding of the challenges and importantly the potential solutions in addressing the issues. Paramount to the success and strength of the grains industry ongoing will be having organisations like GGL focused on members needs.

This is something we are both keen to address promptly if elected to the board.

* Daniel Cooper is running for a position as a southern zone director of GGL.

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READER COMMENTS

Jock Munro
11/09/2016 12:19:14 PM

Daniel Cooper was a strong supporter of wheat market deregulation and the removal of grower control of AWBLtd,which eventually lead to our iconic marketer falling into the hands of mega merchant Cargill. Daniel has the fanciful idea that the industry's woes lie in the supply chain and that we can promote our wheat but not have a single entity controlling the marketing of our crop. Growers beware- Daniel and his colleagues will put their hands in your pockets and extract a promotion levy which will not make an iota of difference to your bottom lines.
I'm voting
11/09/2016 8:43:09 PM

We would like to hear from all the candidates running for the Grain Growers election not just a selected few. It's not upto the media to push personal selections
Mark Hoskinson
12/09/2016 7:29:51 AM

If Mr Cooper had shown interest in GGL and what they are working on he would find they are already working on many and more of the issues he has raised. It shows he is more concerned about adding strength to GPA through infiltrating the GGL Board room than what is good for GGL! GGL has a long presence set up to represent Growers not like the questionable set up and existence of GPA and who it represents! This is the third article from the Land that Mr Cooper has been given to make comment. It's a shame the rest of the candidates were not given the same support.
I'm voting
12/09/2016 8:06:38 AM

Hi don't forget Mark,it's not what you know but who you know!
Jock Munro
12/09/2016 11:57:31 AM

Will the other candidates for the GGL Board election be given the same opportunity as Dan Cooper had in writing the above election piece? Was Dan Cooper given any assistance by any Fairfax journalist in producing this article?
LTF
12/09/2016 6:15:05 PM

Daniel Cooper is misguided but does not fully understand how and this has allowed him to take the wrong road.
jed
14/09/2016 10:45:29 AM

Dan was the Chair of NSWfarmers Grains committee for three years and the only thing he pushed was GPA to take over the NFF National Grains Policy Group for his mates and promoted GRDC. Why did he not raise all these issues within NSWFarmers? He does not know being on the Board of Grain grower is for Governance not pushing his agendas. It's up to the Policy group and staff to address Members Policy. Dan needs to study more about what he has applied for!
Colin
14/09/2016 11:11:30 AM

GPA has caused more unrest and division in Grains Politics than any small vocal minority group. A lot of it's original and some current leaders were strong supporters of Deregulation now they want to line their pockets running so called Growers groups saying they are going to fix all the Industry woes which they helped cause. The Wheat Industry Deregulation gave the Grain Industry good functions to Grain Trade Australia.

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