A COMMERCIAL conflict of interest is the reason CSBP says it has terminated its fertiliser agreement with Landmark.
CSBP Fertiliser general manager Charlie Perkins said the long-standing agreement was terminated on April 11 because of concerns about Landmark selling its own fertiliser products, alongside CSBP products.
Mr Perkins also confirmed CSBP, WA's largest distributor of fertiliser in an increasingly competitive market, was still in discussion with Elders about an agency arrangement, but no formal deal had been signed.
He reiterated that CSBP had first raised its concerns in November when Landmark had advised it intended to buy fertiliser from overseas and directly sell it onto the WA market under an arrangement with US supplier Koch.
"At this time, CSBP raised concerns around the commercial conflict of interest with Landmark selling its own fertiliser and at the same time acting as an agent for CSBP fertilisers," Mr Perkins said.
"With this in mind, CSBP assessed the potential and actual commercial conflict that emerged, and ... CSBP formally advised Landmark that it wished to terminate its fertiliser agency agreement.
"We can confirm we are in discussions with Elders, however no agreements have been formalised.".
In a statement last week Landmark WA region director Mark Trewin said although the agency agreement with CSBP had been terminated at CSBP's request, Landmark would continue to work with CSPB for the next 12 months to ensure its customers were supported.
While disappointed CSBP had chosen to terminate the relationship, Landmark remained committed to providing its customers with high-quality rural products and services and to meeting its customers' needs, Mr Trewin said.
"We will be investing considerable resources into our fertiliser business and sell a range of products under the Landmark Fertiliser brand," he said.
"Those products will be supported through existing supplier relationships and we will bring new products to the WA market as we explore globally available options.
"We will be looking to further expand the fertiliser business by having regional storage to support the Landmark network."
Mr Trewin said Landmark was also developing its own in-house soil nutrition software and its agronomy team and technical staff will be supported by its own laboratory, due to open later this year.
Part of Landmark's strategy will be to appoint new people with extensive WA fertiliser industry knowledge, Mr Trewin said.
"Landmark has for many years had an extensive research and development commitment to WA agriculture, with many trials and larger scale research programs in place.
"The years of intellect will be used in the business to help bring products suited to WA conditions to the market and the operations team is well down this path.
"Client feedback has always been for dynamic, fair and open fertiliser competition, better prices, greater product choice along with reliable, high quality service backup.
"We want to reassure clients that moving forward Landmark has a strong fertiliser plan in place and there will be a lot of potential upside.".
CSBP has advised its customers to talk to their local CSBP area manager about the range of options available to them.
Wesfarmers once owned both CSBP and Landmark.
Landmark is now owned by Canadian-based Agrium Incorporated.