Access To Infrastructure And Information Key To Wheat Legislation: Emerald

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21st April 2008, 08:21pm - Views: 706
Media Release
Embargo 2:30 pm Tuesday 22 April 2008

Access to Infrastructure and Information Key to Wheat Legislation: Emerald

Canberra April 22, 2008: Access to port and upcountry infrastructure, timely declarations of stock information and transparent shipping processes are amongst the critical issues to address in changes to wheat marketing, according to independent commodity manager, Emerald.

Mike Chaseling, Deputy Chairman of Emerald, told the Senate Inquiry into the new wheat marketing legislation that open access to both port and country storage & handling infrastructure was a crucial factor for an efficient Australian grain industry.

"We have the opportunity to set a framework for the wheat industry that provides fair opportunity for all players, and it should not be overlooked.

"Farm gate competition is the number one priority for farmers in a deregulated environment, which makes open access to major storage infrastructure including country silos - not just port infrastructure - essential.

"Appropriate guarantees must be incorporated in the new wheat marketing environment to ensure competition is not limited by the restriction of access to storage and handling facilities," Mr Chaseling said.

Mr Chaseling highlighted the need to encourage a vibrant Australian grain futures market as one of the issues supporting strong legislative direction in relation to open and fair access to storage and handling infrastructure - a previously unexplored issue in the infrastructure access debate.

"A vibrant and liquid Australian grain futures market will be an important pillar in delivering strong, timely and independent pricing signals to Australian wheat farmers in a deregulated industry. Without clearly articulated and legislated rules relating to infrastructure access, the burgeoning Australian futures market could be undermined."

Providing regular information on grain stocks and exports by class and destination is also fundamental to the operation of an efficient market in a deregulated environment, according to Emerald.

"The fact that regular stock levels of all grain is not mandatorily reported and released by port zone by quality class on at least a monthly basis in Australia is a great weakness of the system."

"This legislation provides an opportunity to set that right by establishing an industry-based approach for the provision of essential information, so that markets are better informed and can operate more efficiently."

"The real beneficiary of such declarations will be Australian farmers who will see more competitive offerings from marketers as a result," Mr Chaseling said.

Copies of Emerald's submission are available by contacting Emerald or by visiting the company website at www.emerald-group.com.au


Background on Emerald
Emerald is a leading private national grains manager focusing on wheat, barley and canola markets. Emerald holds an Australian Financial Services License to make a market level for grain derivatives and foreign exchange and specialises in offering pool marketing services.

Emerald has established joint ventures and alliances with a number of grower organisations across Australia including:

* A new South Australian joint venture EP Grains Pty Ltd in partnership with SA grower based unlisted public company FREE Eyre Ltd, aimed at servicing Eyre Peninsula farmers
* A recently announced wheat pool marketing alliance with the WA Farmers Federation
* An established grain marketing joint venture with Victoria's Southern Quality Produce Cooperative (SQP Pty Ltd) operating throughout Victoria.
* A long standing alliance with the 3,500 member strong United Farmers Ravensdown Cooperative (formally United farmers Cooperative Company Ltd) in Western Australia

Emerald were the third largest accumulator of pool wheat in Western Australia in the 2007-08 season. Western Australian grain accumulation will account for approximately 50% of total group managed volume in season 2007-08.

For more information please contact:
Ms Emma Field
Marketing Communications Coordinator
03 9882 4835 / mobile 0439974490

Or

Mike Chaseling
Deputy Chairman
Mobile: 0404 484547

SOURCE: Emerald Group

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