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Grain industry code promotes a fair deal for all

A voluntary code of conduct covering Australia’s $11 billion grain industry will help improve pricing and charges transparency for Australian producers.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke announced the release of the code during a visit to Perth this week.

The Government contributed around $100,000 to the project, from a total $9.37 million package to help industry transition to the reformed bulk wheat export marketing system.

Mr Burke said the Australian Grain Industry Code of Conduct would promote equitable trading across the sector, including transactions at the silo.

“The Rudd Government recognises the importance of the Australian wheat industry in providing jobs and generating economic activity,” Mr Burke said.

“Australian wheat growers are already taking advantage of new opportunities under the reformed export marketing system.

“This code will help to further improve transparency around the buying and selling of grain in Australia.”

The new code sets out best practice principles and standards of behaviour to support a more efficient and competitive market for selling grain.

It seeks to improve buyer confidence in Australian grain by providing evidence of chemical and processing compliance; product traceability and ensuring truth in labelling across the supply chain.

It follows a recommendation from the Government’s advisory body the Wheat Industry Expert Group, which strongly supported the development of a voluntary industry code of conduct by the grains industry.

Mr Burke congratulated grain growers and sellers for working cooperatively on the development of the code.

In the year to October 2009, more than 12 million tonnes of bulk wheat were exported to 42 countries by 17 accredited exporters.

Following its oversight of the code's development, industry association Grain Trade Australia will administer and maintain the code on behalf of the grains industry, ensuring it continues to adequately cover the practices of grain producers, handlers, transporters, marketers and buyers.

The Australian Grain Industry Code of Conduct will be distributed to grain growers across Australia.

by S. C.
10 november 2009, World News > Oceania