GrainCorp sale to ADM not in national interest

Grassroots farmers in NSW do not believe the sale of GrainCorp to giant American agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is in the national interest.

NSW Farmers’ Executive Council reaffirmed the association’s position at a recent gathering which followed a meeting of ADM representatives, association President Fiona Simson and Grains Chairman Mark Hoskinson.

Mr Hoskinson said NSW Farmers’ grassroots members clearly stated they are concerned about ensuring competition in the grains market both upcountry and at port.

“They are also concerned that the investment needed in GrainCorp’s assets may be passed over in favour of expenditure on the remainder of ADM’s international network,” said Mr Hoskinson.

“These concerns were put on the table at our meeting with ADM. While ADM indicated it would continue to operate GrainCorp’s network under similar arrangements with an Australian management, we were offered no meaningful assurances.”

NSW Farmers has called on ADM to voluntarily place reasonable conditions upon the sale through the foreign investment review process.

Mr Hoskinson said ensuring other grain traders continue to have access to GrainCorp’s receival and storage network was essential if farmers are to benefit from a competitive market.

“However the full benefit of this access will not be realised without increasing competition across the bulk grain export port terminals on the east coast,” he said.

“NSW Farmers believes the best way to bring this benefit to the community would be to break up the natural monopoly operated by GrainCorp by divesting some of GrainCorp’s port assets as a condition of sale.

“We also want to see stock disclosure made mandatory to ensure greater competition for farmers’ grain. Any sale of Graincorp to ADM means an American company will have greater information about stocks held on Australia’s east coast than Australians.

“The network which ADM is purchasing is the backbone of the grain network in NSW and it requires appropriate investment to ensure the market continues to grow as a contributor to the rural economy.

“ADM also has a responsibility to act in a way that fosters long term sustainability of the grain
farming industry – that is the legacy that ADM inherits from GrainCorp.

“The government should place the conditions sought by the grower community on the sale to ensure that it is in the national interest,” concluded Mr Hoskinson.

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

Back to top