GrainCorp is to merge its grain marketing operations with its storage and freight business as part of a move to simplify the company’s management structure.
The move will see the retirement of one of GrainCorp’s longest serving executives, Neil Johns, whose history with the company dates back to when it was the NSW government-owned Grain Handling Authority.
The restructure decision follows feedback from farmers and buyers suggesting the need for more consistency between its business divisions.
Managing director, Mark Palmquist, said the company had wanted to get the clearest possible understanding of its producer and marketing customer requirements in today’s competitive marketplace.
“Customer feedback has been clear – we need to make our customer experience more consistent, to reflect the steady evolution of their needs since deregulation,” he said.
“The modern grower is sharply focused on marketing opportunities and maximising the value of their grain, while processors are becoming more demanding about the specific functional characteristics they require.
“This change will mean we are better able to strategically target and create value opportunities for our customers.”
We will be better able to strategically target and create value opportunities for our customers.
The combined business unit will be run by former marketing general manager, Klaus Pamminger, who becomes Group general manager, Grains.
He previously headed the marketing division for five years.
Departing storage and logistics group general manager Mr Johns will be partly replaced by a newly created role, customer general manager, reporting to Mr Pamminger.
This position will be responsible for delivering a more strategic approach and cohesive experience for our customers.
Mr Palmquist said the changes were relatively simple, meaning no change or disruption to GrainCorp’s preparations or roles critical for the coming harvest.
Streamlining the national grain storage, trading and processing company’s logistics and marketing activities would make GrainCorp more competitive at the farm gate and more competitive against its integrated global competitors.
A single point of contact should also make the company easier to do business with.
Open access to GrainCorp’s network of bulk storage and port facilities would continue, including full freedom of choice for growers, exporters and domestic buyers using the network.
Mr Johns leaves GrainCorp after a three decade career which has seen the company expand and diversify into global marketing and grain processing activities.
“Neil has played a significant role in making GrainCorp the diversified company it is today through his role in the acquisitions of the malt and oils businesses and through making significant improvements to our Australian operations,” Mr Palmquist said.
“I thank him for his major contribution and join with all our staff in wishing him every success in the future.”
The restructure decision follows GrainCorp recently confirming it will close three more southern NSW receival sites at Ariah Park, Boorowa and Matong.
The sites were earmarked for closure two years ago, but stayed open last season to help absorb an extra large NSW crop, with Ariah Park receiving 14,000 tonnes, and Boorowa and Matong 5000t.
GrainCorp has been closing smaller silos to divert grain deliveries to larger more efficient hubs which receive and load the crop faster.