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Global Food Giant Bid for Graincorp Highlights Wheat Bill Flaws

30 October 2012

AUSTRALIA - The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says that the proposed Archer Daniels Midland’s (ADM) takeover bid of Graincorp highlights the need for continued oversight of the grains industry.

“The VFF has been lobbying against the government’s Wheat Marketing Amendment Bill 2012, which will remove any independent Government oversight of the wheat export industry”, said VFF Grains President Andrew Weidemann.

“VFF’s focus has been to ensure the market, including Australian based exporters, have open access to essential grain port infrastructure, transparency of stock market information, and are required to maintain the reputation of Australian wheat exports.

“Assuming the take-over bid goes through, then foreign companies will own and control all major East Coast bulk handlers in ADM (Graincorp), Cargill (AWB Grainflow) and Glencore (Viterra).

“In essence, these foreign multi-national companies will own and control the major grain port infrastructure as well as control access to grains market information,” he said.

“VFF has long argued that guaranteeing fair and equitable access to port infrastructure and open access to market (stocks) information are essential elements of ensuring a competitive and efficient market.

“VFF are concerned that the government’s bill, if passed, will not only hand control of this essential infrastructure to multinationals, but at the same time remove any independent government oversight from the industry.

“The sale of Graincorp will come down to a decision of its shareholders and possibly the Foreign Investment Review Board. The government however, is obligated to maintain an independent umpire in the industry to ensure market failures are addressed not promoted. That is, that all Australian exporters can access essential port infrastructure, guarantee access to market information, and promote a competitive and efficient market”, concluded Mr Weidemann.

TheCropSite News Desk

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