CBH Group exports from four ports in Western Australia, including Esperance Port.

Complexity may cruel CBH offer

ANALYSIS: CBH has served WA grain growers for more than 80 years, but debate is raging about whether now is the time to kill the co-op.

Farming can be a lonely business, but right now about 4,150 grain growers in Western Australia are sharing a common thought about the truth of the saying that ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’.

The bird in this case is CBH Group, a business that started life as Co-operative Bulk Handling, with wheat-growing farmers as its only shareholders.


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Co-operatives, unsuitable to the modern business era? try telling that to 13,000 farmer shareholders of dairy giant Fonterra, 7 million customer owners of Desjardin Bank, Canadian mutual bank ranked second safest in the world or 170,000 fans who co-operatively own FC Barcelona, second richest foot club - I could go on, another 3 million times. Co-ops have 1 billion members globally. 30% of global agriculture is co-operatively owned. Look again. Here's just the Top 300 of those 'under achievers':

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WA Revenue most recent financial year

1st-CBH Group$3.72bn
2nd-KB Foods$513.5m
4th-Craig Mostyn Group$420.0m
5th-Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative$360.0m
66 agribusiness ranked by WA revenue most recent financial year

WA export revenue

7th↑Alcoa of Australia$3.55bn
8th↓Mitsui & Company$3.25bn
9th↓CBH Group$3.00bn
10th-Hancock Prospecting$1.68bn
45 exporters ranked by WA export revenue most recent financial year

WA Revenue

1st-CBH Group$3.72bn
3rd-St John of God Health Care$1.30bn
5th↑Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative$360.0m
47 not for profit businesses ranked by WA revenue most recent financial year

Number of Employees

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