DRIVEN by passionate growers from Western Australia, a program launched on Monday allows Australian grain farmers to deliver humanitarian support for Ukrainian farmers and farming communities.
To back the cause, graingrowers can donate grain delivered from this year's winter harvest via a dedicated Grower Delivery Card, in the National Grower Register (NGR) system.
The Aussie Grain4Ukraine appeal also included a shout-out for growers to display Ukraine flags on their farm machinery during seeding and share images of their flags and machines on social media with the #AUSSIEGRAIN4UKRAINE hashtag.
A farmer-led sub-committee of Grain Producers Australia (GPA) has been formed to drive the fundraising campaign and direct targeted humanitarian support, in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
GPA chief executive officer Colin Bettles said the sub-committee would steer and drive the fundraising initiative, to help raise awareness and deliver optimal support, at minimal cost.
"We are encouraging Australian grain farmers to fly the flag for Ukraine and provide ideas and suggestions on where and how to target the best possible support," Mr Bettles said.
"The sub-committee will analyse these suggestions and determine the most appropriate programs.
"This approach will focus on directing funding towards long-term, future recovery efforts for Ukrainian farmers and their communities, to make a genuine difference, as they come out the other end of this conflict."
Many of the sub-committee members have experience and connections to Ukrainian agriculture, including as Nuffield scholars.
These contacts are also being harnessed to provide insights into the Ukrainian conflict, and help inform the sub-committee's decision-making, along with other expertise.
In WA, the initiative has been led by well-known farmers David Fullwood, Simon Wallwork and Brad Jones.
Mr Wallwork said many of them have close friends in Ukraine who grew wheat just like they do, but who are experiencing something right now that can't be fully comprehended here in Australia.
"This is our way of taking some positive action to help them out and let them know we care," Mr Wallwork said.
"We also welcome other grains industry leaders and members, especially bulk grain handlers and marketers, putting their hands up to contribute any way they can, to empower this effort.
"The aim is to give some hope and inspiration for Ukrainian people about the future."
Initially the idea was seeded on social media, when grain producers and other industry members wanted to find ways of supporting their Ukrainian grain farming cousins, during a time of great need.
With grain prices having gone up due to the conflict, the grain industry wanted to contribute some of this upside to the greater good of humanity.
Market Analyst and sub-committee member Andrew Whitelaw urged others to get involved and contribute resources to support the cause of global humanity, via Australian grain production.
"When Aussie growers are planting seeds this year, they'll be doing so knowing they're doing more than just helping to feed the world," Mr Whitelaw said.
"Every little bit we do now can help make a big difference to the lives of Ukrainian people in the long-term."
The sub-committee members also made a call to action from groups in other parts of the world.
With Australian graingrowers the first to start up a grain donation drive for Ukraine, they called upon sister organisations around the world from France to Canada to follow suit.
Ideas for support programs and suggested aid measures can be submitted via email and through the campaign page on GPA's website.
Once determined by the sub-committee, a list of the programs will be made available on the campaign page, prior to harvest, so growers know where fundraising is being directed.
Once complete, a project report will also be posted for full transparency.
The Grower Delivery Card in the NGR is numbered 1500 4442 and registered to GPA.
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