Grains Section welcomes insurance news

The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) Grains Section has welcomed news that crop risk mitigation insurance will be made available to Western Australian grain producers next year.

WAFarmers Grains Section President, Kim Simpson, said the willingness of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions to enter the Western Australian market reflects their confidence that such a product would be utilised.

“There is a definite need for grain producers to have access to affordable crop risk mitigation insurance products and we applaud Swiss Re for making that a reality in Western Australia,” Mr Simpson said.

“Obviously, any product would need premiums that were judged by growers as being low enough to consider taking out the insurance and we will be eager to see these premiums as they are made available.”

Mr Simpson said the work of the WAFarmers Seasonal Risk Mitigation Committee, formed in 2010 to incorporate members from the banking and farm consulting industries, could take some pride in the fact they originally initiated discussions with the CBH Group, who in turn approached Swiss Re.

“It was through the hard work of the WAFarmers Seasonal Risk Mitigation Committee, the CBH Group and Swiss Re that CBH’s Cost of Production Cover pilot scheme was made available to Western Australian grain producers in 2011,” he said.

“By participating in this scheme, Swiss Re became familiar with the potential opportunities in agriculture in Western Australia and I have no doubt that the crop risk mitigation insurance would not have occurred without this happening.”

Mr Simpson said it is imperative both State and Federal Governments become engaged with the process and offer assistance as required.

“The Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) was very supportive in getting the Cost of Production Cover off the ground initially, in terms of providing data and expertise, and we would hope that they would continue to play a role if required,” he said.

“For State and Federal Governments to offer their assistance, as required, would put them in line with most of the governments in the world, who understand the importance of the food producers in the community and the need for risk mitigation schemes to provide security not only for farming families, but also for rural businesses and communities,” Mr Simpson concluded.

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