NSWFA Contact

Robert Hardie

Policy Director - Grain & Horticulture
Ph: (02) 9478-1074
Email: hardier@nswfarmers.org.au

Jennifer Shillabeer

Policy Advisor
Ph: (02) 9478-1003
Email: shillabeerj@nswfarmers.org.au

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The NSW grains industry is valued at $2.24 billion which represents 30% of the national industry. NSW Farmers’ Grains Committee addresses a broad range of industry issues, with the aim of improving the profitability and the overall business environment for our grain growing members.

The Grains Committee with the assistance of their dedicated staff maintain close ties with key industry representatives in order to keep abreast of the latest issues emerging within the grains industry. This includes seeking policy to facilitate lower costs through the supply chain through improved efficiency and enhanced competition.  The Committee also seeks better outcomes through Grain Trade Australia's development of standards, contracts and dispute resolution processes.

The Committee is working with other State Farming Organisations through the Representative Organisation to monitor and provide input into ongoing discussions surrounding the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

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Grain Marketing and Industry Good

As a result of the predominance of the export trade within the Australian grains market, farm gate pricing is determined by the price set by the global market less the sum of storage and logistics costs and margins taken (including risk premiums) by grain marketers. 

As a result farmers require strong competition in the market for grain storage and logistics services to bring down these costs and strong competition between grain marketers to ensure as much of the world price for grain flows back to the farm gate.

The east coast export grains supply chain is dominated by GrainCorp’s integrated bulk handling and transport system as well as port infrastructure. This results in a distortion of the grain market to the detriment of competition at the farm gate.  Much of this infrastructure was established by the NSW Government.

NSW Farmers believes that it is unlikely that true competition for farmers’ grain will be established without market rules to ensure a level playing field.

We are calling for policy settings that:

  • Encourage greater competition between storage and logistics providers to the grain market and between exporters.
  • Maintain open access regimes in monopolistic or almost essential facilities, such as ports, until sufficient competition within the storage and logistics and the grain marketing sector can be objectively demonstrated to have emerged to protect the competitiveness and profitability of Australian farmers.
  • Ensures a level playing field between marketers by reducing asymmetry of information through enhanced disclosure of grain inventories held by bulk handling companies.
  • Ensures that grain marketers can compete for grain on quality by enabling greater control over the integrity of the stock that they have purchased and hold within the bulk handling system.
  • Provide incentive for greater supply chain alignment to farmers.

NSW Farmers Grains Committee also works with Grain Trade Australia to ensure that the voice of growers is heard in the development of its grain standards.  Specifically we are seeking GTA amend the way it establishes grain standards so they are established with objective criteria that are well defined and understood, that are subject to greater transparency and that has improved grower ownership of the process.  As part of this NSW Farmers and Grain Producers Australia have requested GTA enable grower representative groups to select grower representatives upon GTA's technical committees.



Supply Chain Infrastructure

The direct and opportunity costs associated with a crumbling grain branch line and increased requirements for local grain freight combined with limited competition between port terminal service providers is a major inefficiency in the NSW grains supply chain reducing received prices for grain.

We are:

  • Working with Government, Councils and infrastructure owners through the NSW Government's Fixing Country Rail and Fixing Country Roads programs to see investment in grain rail infrastructure and local roads that will improve the efficiency of the export of grain and increase competition between port terminal service providers. This includes the development of the inland rail, stabalising the grain branchline network and co-investing with industry to improve rail sidings to reduce outturn and train cycle times.
  • Greater coordination of the grains supply chain to maximise the efficiency of grain freight and return more of the grain price to farmers.
  • Improvements to major roads that link farms to grain receival sites.
  • Improved transparency in the freight market to ensure competition results in downward cost of grain freight.
  • Continued participation by the NSW Government, local councils and grain receival sites in the Grain Harvest Management Scheme.   



Research, Development and Extension 

Grower driven investment in research, development and extension is critical to enable Australian farmers to increase quality and production of the Australian crop.

We are:

  • partnering with the GRDC to ensure that farmers are directly engaged in the identification of issues for the GRDC’s investment plan.
  • seeking the implementation of the Primary Industries Standing Council’s Grains RDE Framework from the NSW Government.
  • working with the Australian Oilseeds Federation and other industry bodies to look at streamlining the system of end point royalties.



National Grains Representation

NSW Farmers sits on Grain Producers Australia's Grains Policy Council to progress national grains policy alongside of AgForce QLD, GrainProducers SA, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers, Western Australian Farmers Federation and the WA Grains Group. 

Through membership with GPA, NSW Farmers has a direct role in its function as the Representative Organisation for the Grains Research and Development Corporation and as a member of Plant Health Australia.

NSW Farmers will also work with the National Farmers Federations Streamline and Strengthen project to position grains as an integrated commodity council in a future unified national farm body. 



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