THE WHEAT industry has evolved in the years following the dismantling of the wheat export single desk with other organisations picking up the functions of the former AWB according to the chief executive of the nation’s peak body for grain standards, Grain Trade Australia.
Pat O’Shannassy said a new, self-regulatory framework had been created in the years since deregulation and that it was working well to allow grain to be sold and traded.
“The setting of important functions such as grain standards, contracts and trade rules have been picked up by Grain Trade Australia and now work as an industry standard,” Mr O’Shannassy said.
He said a soon to be adopted GTA code of practice would help enshrine many of the obligations of grain traders and sellers.
“The code of practice will close the loop on a lot of those issues that people were concerned about following deregulation but what I think has happened is that the market has grown and the functions have been filled as the need has arisen.
“You’ve seen GTA step into the gap with some things, you’ve seen other organisations doing other things, the areas that were formerly covered by the single desk have been filled according to how the market has evolved.”
More broadly, Mr O’Shannassy said the years following deregulation had seen the market grow and more invest in areas such as supply chain logistics.
“The supply chain has become a lot more efficient and we’ve seen large volumes going through the system.”
“Another positive has been how people have been able to innovate, they’ve found a niche and been operating in that space, meaning we’ve got a very competitive market in areas such as containerised exports.
“We’ve also seen a truer reflection of the market according to each area, you see a domestic focus in the areas near large markets, while in the west there is still an export focus.”