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Farmers Agree to Call for Treasurer to Block Sale of Graincorp

22 July 2013

AUSTRALIA - Nearly 300 farmers at NSW Farmers annual conference in Sydney have unanimously called for the Federal Treasurer to block the sale of GrainCorp to giant American agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

The motion was put forward following growing concerns over the impact of the sale with new information being exposed through a Senate inquiry into the ownership arrangements of grain handling networks.

NSW Farmers Grains Committee Chair Mark Hoskinson, who gave evidence to the inquiry, outlined that his members were alarmed that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had already approved the sale without properly understanding the grain market and supply chain.

The conference resolved to call upon the Federal Treasurer to listen to the farming sector and use his powers under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act to block the sale.

Mr Hoskinson said: "Growers are concerned that ADM taking control of GrainCorp’s monopoly position in eastern Australia is likely to further erode competition for farmers’ grain and increase storage, handling and transport fees that already eat substantially into farmers’ livelihoods.

"The deal is also likely to remove Toepfer from the grain buying market and would impact on domestic processing as a result of ADM’s 16 per cent shareholding in Wilmar, which is the largest shareholder of Goodman Fielder.

"Our members are concerned that ADM’s history in other nations shows cause for concern about how it will impact competition if it was to control 80 per cent of the upcountry and port grain handling facilities in eastern Australia."

NSW Farmers made a submission to the ACCC and has written to the Treasurer imploring him to block the sale and to direct the Foreign Investment Review Board to formally call for submissions and undertake a more open process in reviewing the proposed sale.

TheCropSite News Desk

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