THE AUSTRALIAN grains industry will have its first organisation fully dedicated to industry good services and functions since the dismantling of the former wheat single desk.
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has announced the launching of a new company, Grain Australia, which will focus on industry good matters and is ultimately designed to take over the mantle from an umbrella of smaller groups currently fulfilling the role.
Industry good functions have sat uneasily over a number of platforms over the years since deregulation, with some, such as grain classification, handed over to Grain Trade Australia and others, such as crop-specific work being looked after by groups like Pulse Australia and the Australian Oilseeds Federation.
Grain grower groups have long pushed to have some consolidation of the process.
It is not known exactly how much the newly formed company will cost the GRDC but industry sources suggest it may be in the vicinity of $2 million.
Grain Australia's major roles will be establishing and maintaining a grain variety classification system, providing trade and market access services, developing customer awareness and providing technical support.
To develop long term market and consumer analysis and product awareness to support longer term demand and value creation
To ensure technical support and training is available for customers of, and participants in the Australian grains industry
GRDC managing director Steve Jefferies said the new company would be a more efficient means of performing industry good functions across domestic and global functions.
The formation of Grain Australia was led by a steering committee comprised of grower groups Grain Growers and Grain Producers Australia, trade peak body Grain Trade Australia and the GRDC.
However, GRDC will be the sole member of the fledgling company and will provide 100pc of the funding.
GPA chairman Andrew Weidemann said this would stop any potential conflict of interest between GPA and GrainGrowers which oversee GRDC from a regulatory point of view.
He said the new organisation could end up fulfilling roles of a number of groups.
"There's Pulse Australia and the AOF, you've got Wheat Quality Australia and Barley Australia, we don't know yet whether they will come on board with the new Grain Australia but certainly they are ones that could be involved," Mr Weidemann said.
Another candidate for collaboration is the Australian Export Grain Innovation Centre which does both technical research and supporting export markets with expertise.
Dr Jefferies said the Grain Australia constitution had been finalised and a search is underway for directors, who will then elect a chief executive.
Brett Hosking GrainGrowers chairman, said the announcement was the end of a long push by farmer groups to consolidate industry good functions.
"We feel like some of these things may have been a bit neglected or not quite where they should be so hopefully Grain Australia can streamline the various components of industry good functions," Mr Hosking said.
"We're certainly excited to see the company finally to fruition."