WAFarmers reaffirms their support for the continuation of the cooperative structure for Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH) in the storage and handling of the Western Australian grain harvest.
“The WAFarmers Grains Council recognises that CBH operates in a competitive environment, and as a co-operative, it is vital that it can compete effectively with other companies,” WAFarmers President Dale Park said.
Grains Council President Duncan Young said policy was updated at a recent Grains Council meeting to reflect the CBH issue.
“The motion ‘At this time, WAFarmers Grains Council support the co-operative model for handling and storage of grain, and a structure that is dynamic and delivers maximum value to growers’ was carried unanimously by delegates,” Mr Young said.
“Additionally, discussion was held about differential pricing and site rationalisation, with the following motion carried: ‘WAFarmers Grains Council support the principle of bin rationalisation of the CBH network and their efforts to gain whole of network efficiency, and will write to the CBH Board to indicate our support’.
“The intention of this motion is to encourage CBH to progress this conversation with farmers, to ensure they give their members the best co-operative for the future.
“Competition is here, now, and we have to allow CBH to adjust to the changing environment with sound commercial decisions that are in the best interests of all grain growers in WA.”
Mr Young said an additional motion, ‘Grains Council strongly urges WA grain growers to exercise their right to vote in upcoming CBH board district elections to ensure a dynamic, competitive and commercially focused organisation for WA grain growers into the future’, was crucial to the upcoming board district elections.
“Recent media attention on the co-operative versus corporate debate could potentially unfairly affect the outcome of board district elections at CBH, so we implore voters to evaluate candidates on their individual merit. If you don’t vote, you shouldn’t complain” he said.
“While there is some talk about corporatising CBH, some of that might come from a sense that CBH is not responding quickly enough to the changing environment. CBH can be a cooperative and competitive at the same time; they are not mutually exclusive. WAFarmers absolutely supports that.”
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].