WEMA establishes new wheat marking entity

THE Wheat Export Marketing Alliance has established a new entity to oversee single desk wheat marketing and next year’s National Wheat Pool, in July. Australia Wheat Ltd, or AusWheat, will initially be funded by grower donations through WEMA, which is a network of farming lobby groups, including the WA Farmers Federation. There will be no compulsory levy for AusWheat, which will be self-funded once its operations have commenced. WEMA chairman Graham Blight said some growers would be angry at being required to fund the establishment of their own company, but said it was inevitable if growers wished to retain some control over export sales. AusWheat will manage exports through its single desk authority and will determine quality incentives. Mr Blight said present cost inefficiencies needed to be addressed to maximise grower returns. He said the new agency needed to position the Australian wheat industry the top end of the global market. “AusWheat’s role will drive the wheat industry to excellence by using its new model. By creating a tough marketing test for its own marketers and other facilitators, maximising returns to growers will be an absolute requirement,” he said. Mr Blight also said AusWheat needed to work with other industry players. “Growers have supported the continued operation of a single desk. That single desk must aim to be the catalyst for change in the wheat industry,” he said. Emily Piesse

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