Structural review for CBH

Structural review for CBH


Grains
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CBH Group will undergo a governance and structural review in the wake of the Australian Grains Champion (AGC) proposal.

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CBH Group will undergo a governance and structural review in the wake of the Australian Grains Champion (AGC) proposal.

The review will encompass all areas of the business and also puts part, or complete, corporatisation on the agenda.

CBH spokeswoman Samantha Francke said the co-operative had conducted extensive consultation with more than 2000 members in regards to its structure and future plans.

"The feedback showed that while 70 per cent of growers were happy with the co-operative structure, 89pc wanted to see a structure and governance review," she said.

CBH survey growers each quarter on a range of topics, including structure, diversifying investments, services and fees.

Ms Francke said while there had been on-going discussions over many years in regards to the way forward for the 83-year-old business, the latest review was sparked by the AGC plans.

"This review will help show if there is a real desire for change in the co-operative model or if we need to do some tweaking to our structure," she said.

The review process is underway, following consultation meetings with growers throughout March and April.

A second round of consultation will occur soon, with the outcome expected in September.

"Every grower will have the opportunity to have their say," Ms Francke said.

"Certainly, for some growers the idea of corporatisation is attractive for a range of reasons, particularly a cash payout option, however the review will really bring a sharper focus to the issues and what growers want from their co-operative."

In response to the AGC proposal and criticism that it was not put more widely to growers, Ms Francke said it was the board's responsibility on behalf of its members to investigate and review proposals.

"The board has been elected by growers to review proposals like this," she said.

"If it had been a good proposal, it would have been put to growers."

An AGC spokesperson said the group was reviewing its options following the rejection of its proposal in March.

Pastoralist and Graziers Association (PGA) president Tony Seabrook said he was happy to see a debate on CBH's future.

He said ultimately the market would decide if the co-operative model was successful.

"I would like to see the debate go further and explore if growers want change," Mr Seabrook said.

"The PGA is of the opinion that CBH has been under-performing and we are happy to see that the AGC proposal has sparked a conversation."

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