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December

17 DecemberFalling Numbers tests maintain millions in grain value

In the face of recent harvest weather disruptions CBH Group is working hard to protect grower value with the roll out of more than 100 Falling Number grain quality testing machines to receival sites in the most affected areas.

Grain Operations Manager David Capper said CBH estimated the equipment had already delivered close to $25 million of increased value for wheat crops.

Despite the patience required to undertake the 10 minute test, it is the only mechanism that allows potential Feed wheat to be upgraded to higher value milling grades.

"Under the official Grains Industry of Western Australia Wheat Receival Standards and the Grain Trade Australia standards used in Eastern Australia any load in which sprouted grain is detected is classified as feed grade unless a Falling Number result is available to override the sprouted grain result," Mr Capper said. 

"So far this harvest, CBH has tested at least 11,000 individual loads with an estimated value uplift at this stage close to $25 million.

"Our Falling Number machines are here to create value for our growers. Our aim is to not have to downgrade any load to feed based on visual sprouted alone." 

"Fortunately, this year many growers were well into their wheat programs when the damage became evident, unlike last year when our Falling Number units were in use with less than 10% of the crop delivered."

CBH Quality Manager Mathew Regan said sprouted grains contained damaged starch and protein components resulting in poor quality end products.

"Sprouted wheat can result in end products with reduced mixing strength, sticky dough and reduced shelf life," he said.

"The Falling Number test enables the best possible classification for growers' wheat deliveries while maintaining WA's reputation to supply quality wheat to international customers."

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820     

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14 DecemberCBH Grain finalises 11/12 lupin pool at $19.14 above opening EPR

CBH Grain has finalised the 2011-12 Lupin Harvest Pool with a final pool return of $264.14, making it the top performing lupin pool by $8.63 per tonne for that season. 

The final return is $19.14 per tonne above the opening estimate published last harvest. Over $11 million has been paid to growers in pool finalisation payments.

CBH Grain Head of Accumulations, Richard Simonaitis, said the increase has been driven by the drought conditions in the US which severely impacted production and yields in soybeans causing prices to rally.

"The sales profile of the lupin pool has allowed CBH Grain to capture this value for Western Australian growers," Mr Simonaitis said.

"Additionally a sustained marketing effort and increased demand resulted in the reopening of bulk shipments of WA lupins to the Middle East after a long absence."

Mr Simonaitis said with increased competition in traditional WA lupin markets, CBH Grain was able to adapt its marketing strategy to target new markets like the Middle East, as well as work with established CBH Grain markets. This flexibility in the sales program helped provide an extra boost to values for the pool.

"Furthermore we continue to see an increase in demand from high value, specialty markets that CBH Grain has been developing over a number of years," he said.

"The 2012-13 Lupin Harvest Pool is open for deliveries with an EPR of $360 per tonne and while the lupin market is becoming highly competitive we believe CBH's scale in WA, strong global relationships and long term commitment to growers will once again be able to deliver strong returns for lupins."

For more information please contact your local CBH Grain Business Relationship Manager.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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November

30 NovemberCBH welcomes wheat marketing reforms

The CBH Group welcomes the passage of the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill through the Senate yesterday.

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Crane said the legislation would provide the Australian grains industry much needed certainty for the future through the removal of unnecessary regulation and costs.

"The CBH Group congratulates Minister Ludwig on his strong commitment to continuing the reform and transition of the wheat marketing arrangements to more closely align with other grains," he said.

"The legislation will result in the winding up of Wheat Exports Australia and the cessation of the Wheat Export Charge which Western Australian grain growers supported as it will reduce their costs."

In addition the legislation will allow for the more efficient operation of CBH grain ports through the removal of the port access undertaking to be replaced by a mandatory code of conduct that will cover all Australian bulk wheat port terminals.

Dr Crane said that CBH would work closely with the expert panel to be established by the Minister as part of the legislation. The panel will consider legacy grain industry issues that do not relate directly to port operations, including wheat stocks information and export wheat quality and integrity.

"CBH believes these issues need careful consideration prior to any formal position being adopted that would unnecessarily connect them to the mandatory code of conduct and potentially add back costs, inefficiencies and delays to the wheat export supply chain," Dr Crane said.

"These matters are presently and should remain being managed by the industry separate to port operations."

CBH and WA grain grower groups have previously indicated they do not support open disclosure of wheat stocks information that might disadvantage their market positions and result in lower financial returns.

Dr. Crane indicated that CBH remained committed to the ongoing process of developing the industry code which the Minister must approve prior to becoming operational in 2014.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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30 NovemberNominations open for 2013 CBH Member Director Elections

Nominations for the 2013 CBH Group Member Director Elections opened yesterday with three Director positions open for nomination - one in each of the Districts 2, 3 and 4. 

The coming elections will again be conducted by the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) and eligible candidates will have until noon on Friday, 4 January 2013 to lodge their nomination.

If a CBH Grower Member has an interest in becoming a Director of the largest co-operative in Australia, they can apply for an information pack and nomination form, from WAEC Returning Officer, Ian Botterill on (08) 9214 0456 or ian.botterill@waec.wa.gov.au

The Directors whose three-year terms will expire at the CBH Group's Annual General Meeting on 27 February 2013, and who are eligible to stand for re-election, are Mick McGinniss, Kevin Fuchsbichler and Trevor Badger.

Candidates are not required to have their main growing interests in the district in which they intend to nominate for election.

Following the close of nominations, subject to receiving more than one nomination for a District, Grower Members in that district will be able to vote for candidates and ballots will be counted immediately after the close of poll at 10 am on Monday, 18 February 2013.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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19 NovemberCBH gains “green food” certification for WA oat industry

As part of an ongoing strategy to provide Chinese customers with sustainably produced Australian oats for food production, CBH Grain has achieved certification for a further three years under the China Green Food Development Centre program.

Representatives from the China Green Food Development Centre met this week with CBH Grain Quality and Technical Advisor, Anyou Liu and Quality Assurance Manager, Jodie Kleyweg to go through CBH's quality management and quality assurance system and to visit several CBH Quality Assured farms and CBH receival sites.

Dr Liu said the representatives were again pleased that the audited farms and the CBH storage and handling system met the requirements of the certification program. This is the fourth season running that CBH Grain have achieved certification under this program.

"The Chinese Green Food certification programme investigates various steps of the supply chain from grower's environmental and chemical management practices and traceability, right through to the Integrated Quality Management Systems adhered to by the CBH storage and handling system.

"Chinese customers that buy Green Food certified oats from CBH Grain are then able to use the Green Food certified branding on their products which indicates to consumers that the raw product used in the final product they are purchasing, has been produced in a sustainable manner, safe for human consumption, with high technical standards around quality control," Dr Liu said.

"This is a great step for Western Australian oat producers as it gives them the right foot in the door to export oats to the growing Chinese food industry."

CBH Grain Protein and Oilseeds Marketing Manager, Dane Robertson, said CBH Grain is also offering WA oat growers an additional $11.75 per tonne for all oats nominated to CBH Grain this harvest in an effort to encourage growers to continue to producing high quality milling oats to offer this market.

"We are committed to rewarding oat growers for continued, long term milling oat production.  We are continuing to see excellent growth in the consumption of oats throughout Asia, particularly the breakfast cereal market and WA milling oat growers are in a good position to take advantage of this opportunity.

"Certification schemes are not foreign to WA growers. Another certification scheme is the ISCC (International Sustainable Carbon Certification) scheme which allows WA canola growers to access the premium paying European biofuel market.

"CBH is dedicated to ensuring WA grain growers are well positioned to capitalise on these emerging markets which require grain to be certified for sustainability or consumer health reasons. CBH's Quality Assurance program has been a major contributing factor to assisting WA grain growers to be accredited for these markets."

Images available

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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16 NovemberCBH Group CFO to join Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-op Board

Two of Western Australia's leading co-operatives are set to benefit from each other's knowledge and experience with the appointment of CBH Group Chief Financial Officer David Moroney to the Board of Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative Ltd.

CBH Group Chairman Neil Wandel said CBH was confident Mr Moroney could continue to fulfil his existing role and responsibilities at CBH while taking on the part-time Directorship from 1 January 2013.

"We are pleased to share with another co-operative the extensive experience that Mr Moroney has accumulated over more than 20 years in senior financial roles, Mr Wandel said.

"David's appointment as one of two independent Directors on the Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative is an example of co-operatives working together.

"Like the CBH Group, Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative is one of Australia's biggest co-operatives and one of Western Australia's leading exporters.

"Most importantly, we share the common objective of putting the interests of primary producers first. In our case it's grain growers, in Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative's case it's lobster fishers."

Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative Chairman John Ritchie said it was very excited to welcome David to its board, with his extensive skills and co-operative knowledge.

"We also would like to express our gratitude to CBH for allowing one of their senior management team to join our board," Mr Ritchie said.

Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative was formed in 1950 and has approximately 200 members who catch around 50 per cent of the West Australian Rock Lobster Quota. Annual turnover is in excess of $150 million.

CBH Group was formed in 1933 and has around 4500 grain grower members. It stores and handles around 90 per cent of the annual Western Australian grain harvest and markets around 50 per cent of the crop.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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07 NovemberCBH Grain’s new Regional Manager

The CBH Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Lydia Rich as the new Regional Manager for the South East South Australia, Wimmera, Mallee and Western District.

Lydia started in the role today and is based in Horsham.

CBH Grain, Senior Regional Manager for Eastern Australia, Henry Carracher said Lydia joins us with strong experience in the grains industry, having previously worked with the Commonwealth Bank as an Agribusiness Executive based in Horsham.

"Lydia grew up on her family farm at Moulamein in southern New South Wales and completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management from the Charles Sturt University in Orange" Mr Carracher said.

"Her background in agriculture and her local knowledge from her time with the Commonwealth Bank will place her in a great position to hit the ground running."

Ms Rich said she is excited by the opportunities that CBH can provide and enhancing her knowledge of the constantly changing grain marketing environment.

"I am passionate about the agriculture industry and I am glad I have been able to stay within this field and remain in the local area," she said.

"I am excited to take on a more grains focused role and have always regarded the CBH Group as an organisation that growers regard highly.

"As part of my role I am looking forward to working closely with the growers in my region and look forward to meeting many growers during the harvest period."

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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06 NovemberCBH backs the fight against herbicide resistance

CBH Group has signed on to be a Gold Partner of a major international conference to be held in Western Australia next year aimed at tackling one of agriculture's biggest challenges, herbicide resistance.

The Global Herbicide Resistance Challenge Conference is being hosted by the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative based at The University of Western Australia from18-22 February 2013.

Keynote speakers from around the world will explore the evolution of herbicide resistant weeds that threaten global crop productivity and ultimately, world food security.

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Crane, said the co-operative's $20,000 sponsorship recognised the importance of the issue for grain growers, particularly in Western Australia.

"As part of our sponsorship, CBH is also funding the attendance of a number of tertiary agriculture students, future leaders in the challenge to maintain and grow productivity in agriculture," Dr Crane said.

Director of the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative at UWA, Stephen Powles, thanked CBH for its support.

Mr Powles said the evolution of resistance to herbicides in crop weeds is a major threat to crop productivity and sustainability in Australia and many other nations. 

"Solutions must be found to herbicide resistance problems and this multi-disciplinary conference is part of addressing that challenge. It will assemble the world's leading researchers from universities, research agencies and major agrichemical corporations to tackle the issue of herbicide resistance, especially in the grains industry, which is an issue effecting global food security," he said.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820 

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02 NovemberChinese malt barley customers pleased with first look at WA crop

CBH Group has hosted a delegation of Chinese malt barley customers to Australia to get a first-hand look at 2012-13 season malt barley currently being harvested and initial reactions have been positive.

Eight representatives from malting, brewing and barley trading companies arrived in Perth on 27 October for a week-long tour of CBH Group's operations in Western and Eastern Australia and several farm visits.

The group included representatives from Tsingtao Brewery and Beijing Yanjing Brewery, two of China's largest brewing companies.

CBH Grain North Asia Regional Manager, Wallace Chang and Barley Quality and Technical Manager, Anyou Liu were able to show the delegation several harvested malt barley samples during a visit to CBH's Australian Grain Centre and straight from the paddock at Murray Leach and Adam Rendell's farms near Corrigin.

Mr Chang said bringing the customers and end-users of Australian barley directly to where the grain is produced, handled and shipped is an integral part of the way CBH managed customers' expectations around the current season crop quality and the ability of the storage and handling system to manage quality and integrity through the supply chain.

"Barley quality is of utmost importance to the breweries and as harvest begins each year the representatives from these companies like to physically see and feel the grain they may purchase in the coming year," Mr Chang said.

"The customers were very positive about the barley colour in comparison to last year's crop which was affected by the unusually wet harvest weather conditions in WA."

One of the representatives, Dalian Xingze Malt Processing Vice President, Mr Zuo Jun Wang said CBH has a strong reputation for supplying good quality malt barley to China and coming to Australia to see the quality of the current season barley crop personally had prepared him for when he would be purchasing barley for malting.

"Essentially the final decision comes down to price and quality but having a good understanding of the whole CBH supply chain and meeting with the growers directly to understand their farming systems provides CBH with an advantage over other suppliers," Mr Wang said.

"CBH is in a unique position to link our business straight to the growers that supply us with barley. It is not often we get this direct connection and also the chance to go for a ride in the header!"

Images are available

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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01 NovemberCBH welcomes further steps toward wheat deregulation

The CBH Group has welcomed the passage of the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill through the House of Representatives as a major step towards the continuing transition to a more dynamic, competitive marketplace.

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Crane said the wheat industry would be better off as a result of the new legislation's removal of unnecessary regulation and costs.

This included the abolition of Wheat Exports Australia and the Wheat Export Charge and the removal of port access undertakings for bulk handlers who were also accredited exporters.

"As a grower co-operative, we fully support these measures because they are no longer needed and the costs of compliance are ultimately passed back to growers," Dr Crane said.

"Unnecessary regulation limits the industry's ability to respond quickly to changing conditions or dynamics in the marketplace. Importantly, the passage of this legislation will give the industry greater certainty to make decisions on future investments in infrastructure and growth."

Dr Crane said CBH also welcomed indications the Bill would now pass the Senate with the support of the Australian Greens Party.

However, he said it was disappointing the Greens support was subject to amendments which would require a mandatory code of conduct overseen by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

"Representatives from across the industry were progressing on a voluntary code of conduct overseen by an independent Code Administration Committee," Dr Crane said.

"This would have had broad industry support and co-operation and ensured fair, efficient and transparent access to port terminal services. The risk is that a mandatory code overseen by the ACCC will add costs back into the supply chain that will ultimately be passed back through to growers and result in an inferior code that may also restrict the industry's ability to respond quickly to changing conditions."

Dr Crane said CBH looked forward to working closely with the proposed expert wheat industry taskforce examining wheat export standards and reporting of stocks information.

"As one of Australia's biggest wheat exporters and grain bulk handlers, we believe we will be able to provide valuable input into this process and from a perspective which puts growers' interests first," he said.

Dr Crane said CBH congratulated all Federal parliamentary representatives, in particular those from Western Australia, who had demonstrated support for the Amendment Bill.

"They have recognised that continuing reform was in the best interests of Western Australian growers and had the courage to align themselves with all the major organisations representing growers in Western Australia," he said.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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October

29 OctoberCBH Grain increases lupin Harvest Pool estimate

CBH Grain has announced a $10 per tonne increase in the 2011-12 lupin Harvest Pool increasing the Estimated Pool Return (EPR) to $255 per tonne.

CBH Grain Head of Pools, Bryce Banfield, said the increase has been driven by the drought conditions in the US which severely impacted production and yields in soybeans causing prices to rally in an attempt to ration demand.

"The sales profile of the lupin pool has allowed CBH Grain to capture this value for Western Australian growers across all established lupin markets," Mr Banfield said.

"Additionally a sustained marketing effort and increased demand resulted in the reopening of bulk shipments of WA lupins to the Middle East after a long absence.

"Unfortunately competition in WA's largest lupin market led to lower prices through most of 2012. However the reopening of the Middle East market and access to other CBH Grain established markets allowed flexibility with the sales program which helped provide an extra boost to values for CBH Grain's lupin Harvest Pool.

"Furthermore we continue to see an increase in demand from high value, specialty markets that CBH Grain has been developing over a number of years.

"CBH Grain is currently in the process of completing the marketing program for 2011-12 and we are pleased to announce that the pool will be finalised and paid out before the end of the year.

"The 2012-13 lupin Harvest Pool is open for deliveries with an EPR of $360 per tonne and while the lupin market is becoming highly competitive we believe CBH's scale in WA, strong global relationships and long term commitment to growers will once again be able to deliver strong returns for lupins."

For more information please contact your local CBH Grain Business Relationship Manager.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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15 OctoberCBH Grain makes Harvest Pool distributions to WA growers

CBH Grain has recently paid the October distributions for the 2011-12 wheat, barley and lupin Harvest Pool for growers who delivered to the distributions and harvest loan payment methods.

Just under $90 million was credited to harvest loan accounts and/or paid directly to growers who delivered to the distribution payment method.

CBH Grain Head of Pools Bryce Banfield said the United States drought has driven global wheat prices high since July, with APW2 in Western Australia trading over $350 per tonne.

"The estimated pool return (EPR) in Western Australia for the wheat Harvest Pool recently increased by $5 to $270 per tonne," he said.

"The hedging program is nearing completion with some ability to participate in future rallies if the opportunity presents.

"The next distribution payment is scheduled to be made 4 January 2013.

"The barley sales program has all but come to an end with pool finalisation and final payment scheduled for February 1 2013. The current EPR for Feed barley in Western Australia is $245 per tonne.

"The lupin sales program will continue into 2013 and current market values are supportive of the current EPR at $245 per tonne.

"As soybean prices in the US continue to look bullish, the pool management team will put a strong focus on seeking high value markets for the remainder of the pool stock.

"The next distribution payment is scheduled for 18 January 2013."

Payment details by grade are provided in the Pool Budget Guide which is available on the CBH Group website. Further Harvest Pool updates will be provided in the next edition of Pool Talk due in November.

For  more  information   contact  your  local  CBH  Grain  Business Relationship Manager, our  Grower  Service Centre on  1800  199  083  or  visit  www.cbh.com.au

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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15 OctoberCBH Grain makes Harvest Pool distributions to Eastern Australian growers

CBH Grain has recently paid the October distributions for the 2011-12 wheat and barley Harvest Pool for growers who delivered to the distributions and harvest loan payment methods.

Just under $90 million was credited to harvest loan accounts or paid directly to growers who delivered to the distribution payment method.

CBH Grain Head of Pools Bryce Banfield said the United States drought has driven global wheat prices high since July, with APW1 in the Eastern States trading over $300 per tonne.

"The hedging program is nearing completion with some ability to participate in future rallies if the opportunity presents," he said.

"Currently the estimated pool return (EPR) for APW1 is $260 per tonne for South Australia, and $259 per tonne for other states in Eastern Australia.

"The barley sales program has all but come to an end with pool finalisation and final payment scheduled for February 2013. The current EPR for Feed barley in Eastern Australia  is $235 per tonne."

Payment details by grade are provided in the Pool Budget Guide which is available on the CBH Group website. Further Harvest Pool updates will be provided in the next edition of Pool Talk due in November.

For  more  information contact  your  local  CBH  Grain  Regional Manager or our  Grower  Service Centre on  1800  107 759  or  visit  www.cbh.com.au

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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11 OctoberCBH Grain restructures export marketing team

Australia's leading grain exporter, CBH Grain, has announced a number of key appointments as part of a restructure of its export marketing team to better align with the significant changes occurring in local and global grain markets.

The restructure will see CBH Grain move to a model based on major geographic regions with each customer area led by a Regional Manager.

From November, Sean Cowman will become Regional Manager for the Middle East and Africa. Sean is currently Wheat Marketing Manager and joined CBH in 2010 after extensive experience in international sales and marketing including time with Kailis & France Foods and Sumich Group.

Peter Elliott has been appointed Regional Manager for Europe and the Americas. Peter is currently Protein and Oilseeds Marketing Manager and joined CBH in 2008 with a strong background in marketing, including experience with several major food companies handling their North Asian markets and in Japan with one of the world's largest trading houses.

Mike Karube will continue in his current role as Regional Manager for Japan, based in Tokyo, and Wallace Chang will continue as Regional Manager, North Asia, based in Hong Kong.  Leith Teakle also continues as Regional Manager, South East Asia & Sub Continent.

CBH Grain Head of Marketing Tom Puddy said since the deregulation of the Australian wheat export market began in 2008, CBH Grain had serviced its export customers via a hybrid structure of Commodity Managers and Regional Managers.

"This has worked well while the Australian market has transitioned to a deregulated environment," Mr Puddy said.  "To continue to manage our growth, we need to adapt our customer service model to market requirements and add further value to our unique grower-owned supply chain.

"Since deregulation, we have doubled our export volume and tripled our customer base which has been an extraordinary effort by our marketing team, especially considering the larger scale and resources of our global competitors.

"Our customer base is becoming more mature with significantly increased numbers of repeat customers compared to the early days, when more market discovery work was required.

"As we continue to grow, we need to optimise our structure to best service our existing long term customers while leveraging off the success and market penetration already achieved by our Regional Managers in Japan, North Asia and South East Asia & Sub Continent."

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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11 OctoberQuality Optimisation is back this harvest

Last year was the inaugural year for CBH Group's Quality Optimisation, designed to provide Western Australian growers with more flexibility and control over their wheat quality. This year there are a number of improvements to enhance the system and enable even better scenarios for users.

CBH Group Grain Quality Manager, Mathew Regan said Quality Optimisation received great support after its first full year of operation with nearly 2,700 people using the system and close to 4.6 million tonnes of wheat through the optimisation process. From this, almost 2 million tonnes shifted grade and it is estimated the benefit from these upgrade lifts equates to at least $4 per tonne across the 2011-12 wheat crop.

Mr Regan said after evaluating the system and listening to feedback from growers, CBH identified further opportunities to develop the system to ensure it was sustainable over the long term.

"From this harvest onwards, loads will only be able to be optimised when they are owned by the individual grower entity into which they were originally delivered, except where loads are transferred between share farming arrangements," Mr Regan said.

"A further change for this year is that CBH will look to consolidate hard varieties of less than 10% protein into ASW segregations where possible. In these instances, the load will be given a class of APW rather than Hard and can only be optimised to APW2. This is to ensure greater efficiencies and reduced costs to the business from a segregation perspective."

Mr Regan noted that Quality Optimisation in 2012-13 will again be for wheat only and there will be no changes to grade structures for this harvest.

"While there are no plans to provide Quality Optimisation for barley or other grains at this stage, we are continually assessing what might be possible in the future," he said.

CBH's Grower Service Centre will have a number of staff dedicated to assisting with Quality Optimisation queries throughout harvest.

The Grower Service Centre can be contacted on 1800 199 083 Monday to Friday between 8am-5pm. During harvest, the Grower Service Centre hours will be extended to Monday to Friday 7am-6pm and Saturdays 8am-12pm.

Key improvements to QO for 2012-13: 

  1. Enhancement of the Quality Optimisation system to make it work better and provide better scenarios.

  2. Loads can only be optimised when owned by the individual grower entity into which they were originally delivered, except in the case where loads are transferred between share farming arrangements.

  3. CBH will look to consolidate hard varieties of less than 10% protein into ASW segregations where possible. In such instances, the load will be given a class of APW rather than Hard and can only be optimised to APW2.

 

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group                                                            

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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09 OctoberCBH delivers lower rail freight rates for 2012-13

The CBH Group has released its freight rate estimates for the 2012-13 harvest, with rail users starting to reap the benefits of CBH's investment in rail.

CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said the difference between road and rail transport costs is widening, with rail rates seeing an average reduction of around seven percent while road rates rise by, on average, five to eight percent.

"We have been conservative in setting freight rates this year given it's our first year in rail and we need to ensure all transition costs are covered but a reduction in rail rates by an average of seven percent is certainly still a significant saving for growers," he said.

"CBH is now responsible for purchasing fuel for the locomotives, we cover the track access costs and we own the rolling stock. We've taken out the middle man and the profit margins and this is being reflected as improved rail rates.

Our new locomotives and wagons are more efficient than those used to move grain previously which means more tonnes are being carted in each train trip to port.  Again this allows us to pass that benefit to growers through better freight rates."

CBH's investment in rail has proved timely with road transport becoming more expensive.

"Unfortunately there will be an increase in road rates on average of five to eight percent in 2012-13," Mr Tutt said. 

"There are a number of factors that have made road more expensive including road contractor rates increasing; the CPI for road transport increasing at a greater rate than under the CBH Group's new rail contract; and the diesel fuel rebate being reduced this year."

The freight rates released today are estimates only and may be reviewed during harvest to reflect any significant changes to expected delivery patterns and fuel prices. The finalised freight rates will be released in February 2013.

Growers can find the estimated freight rate for their site on the CBH Group website at www.cbh.com.au or on LoadNet®.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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08 OctoberCBH Accelerator – the best of both worlds

This harvest, CBH Grain has released a new short term marketing option for wheat, CBH Accelerator.

CBH Accelerator has opened today with an Estimated Pool Return of $343 per tonne for APW2.

CBH Accelerator will allow growers to capture values that are reflective of the current cash market while providing a spread of basis participation over a period of six months.

CBH Grain Head of Pools, Bryce Banfield said the new product will allow growers to diversify their marketing options if they are looking for market participation over a period of time but would like a product that wraps up sooner than a traditional harvest pool.

"Growers will have all the cash in their bank by July the next year and have their grain actively managed by the CBH Grain pool professionals," he said.

"The pool has a defined hedge profile, with 65 per cent hedged at inception, increasing to 100 per cent at the end of June.

"Growers will get good coverage of harvest values without having to lock basis away all in one cash sale."

CBH Accelerator is a contract-only pool and contracts have a 10 per cent plus or minus tolerance. The delivery period is 8 October 2012 to 15 January 2013. 

If you would like to contract tonnes to CBH Accelerator or for more information please contact your local Business Relationship Manager or the Grower Service Centre on 1800 199 083.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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08 OctoberGrowers tour the Middle East

A group of Western Australian growers has just returned from a study tour of the Middle East hosted by the CBH Group as part of its dedication to bringing growers closer to international customers and end-users.

The study tour, the first that CBH has taken to the Middle East, was aimed at giving participants a greater understanding of customers' requirements and on the ground experience of the local trends and demands in some of the most important destination markets for WA grain.

The group visited the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Kuwait and consisted of Brady Green, Yuna; Jeffery Pearse, Wubin; Jon Hasson,  Ballidu; Rob Hooper, Ongerup; Mike Wake, Jerdacuttup and Rex Parsons, Jerramungup. They were accompanied by CBH's Wheat Marketing Manager Sean Cowman, Barley Marketing Manager Rob Dickie and Geraldton Zone Manager Duncan Gray .

Mr Dickie said over the past 10 years CBH had organised various grower study tours, mainly focused on the Asian grain market, however, this was the first into the Middle East region and reflected its huge potential for WA growers.

"CBH Grain exports on average about 15-20% of all its traded wheat, barley, canola, lupins and oats to this region. The other key regions are North Asia 31% and South East Asia 25%," he said.

Wubin farmer Jeffery Pearse said the Middle East is a rapidly growing region with huge potential to consume Australian grain.

"The area is highly developed and technologically advanced. The size, scale and potential for future growth in the area is phenomenal and it is important that CBH is well positioned to capitalise on this," he said.

"The CBH structure is unique and a great way to get the consumers connected with the growers and for many of our customers it was the first time they had met Australia growers face to face.

"They can understand how any profits CBH makes goes back to improving the structure and efficiency of the CBH network. No other exporter of grain can promote this benefit."

Yuna farmer Brady Green said the study trip was a great educational experience and helped dispose of any preconceived ideas about the Middle East.

"There is no doubting the importance of quality into the Middle East markets and barley colour is a lot more important than we thought," he said.

"Food security is the region's biggest threat and with only three months of storage they are at the mercy of peace in the Middle East to feed their population.

"Two countries we visited were in the stages of either completing or commissioning significant grain storage infrastructure projects, solely aimed at food security for their citizens.

"I personally feel privileged to have had a spot on that trip and spend time with some very influential buyers and customers."

For more information visit the study tour blog:

http://cbhmiddleeaststudytour.blogspot.com.au/

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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03 OctoberCBH Mobile – Available Now!

CBH's new smartphone tool, CBH Mobile has been released in time for harvest and is available for growers to access.

CBH Mobile is available as a mobile website for iPhones and Android phones. To access CBH Mobile go to mobile.cbh.com.au. Once you have reached the mobile website save it as a bookmark or shortcut on your mobile home page for easier future access.

Grower Services General Manager, Karlie Mucjanko said CBH Mobile will provide growers who have smartphones access to load information as it is delivered to the bin, receival site segregations, live CBH Grain prices and key CBH contact details, all while they are on the run during harvest.

"This is another way we can provide value back to growers, especially during the harvest period when they are extremely busy and decisions need to be made on the go," she said.

"Growers have provided feedback to CBH that they are keen to access live information that is available on LoadNet without having to wait to get home and use a computer.

"CBH Mobile will equip growers with real time load quality information and site segregations allowing them to make amendments to harvest programmes on the run rather than waiting to get information back from their contractor or from someone at home near the computer.

"Growers are becoming increasingly tech savvy and CBH is working to keep pace with the new technologies they are embracing and integrating with their business in a way that brings them value and effective use of their time.

"CBH Mobile has been targeted to provide growers with the information they specifically need during their work day and not attempt to serve up every possible bit of information into one tool. The aim is to provide growers with a simple, straightforward and easy to use smartphone tool."

Ms Mucjanko said at this stage CBH Mobile is not available for tablet devices and will not provide transactional capability but CBH will look to provide this capability in future phases of our mobile offering, if the demand is there.

Full access to CBH Mobile will be provided by logging in using LoadNet credentials.  Guests can also login and still access site services and contacts.

Media Contact:  Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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03 OctoberHarvest 2012-13 begins in Western Australia

The 2012-13 harvest is underway with two deliveries of a combined 70 tonnes of wheat made to the CBH Group's Geraldton Terminal yesterday.

CBH General Manager Operations, Colin Tutt said the APW grade wheat was delivered on Tuesday morning along with several other samples.

"We are anticipating that it will be a slow start to the season and expect a few more wheat and then canola deliveries in the Geraldton zone in the coming 10 days and possibly a few deliveries in the Esperance zone this week too," he said.

"We should see growers in the full swing of harvest by mid-November."

Mr Tutt said it was not unusual to see deliveries this early in the season and due to the lack of rain and dry conditions experienced around the state, sites in the north of the Geraldton zone have been on standby to begin receivals for the past week.

"It was a dry opening to seeding this year and then the state was fortunate enough to have a reasonable June in most areas which provided a decent amount of subsoil moisture. However, this was followed by one of the coldest and driest Julys on record which hampered crop growth in many areas," he said.

"We then experienced below average rainfall in August which led to a downward revision of our estimated receivals to below 10 million tonnes, compared with the record 15 million tonnes delivered last harvest.

"An average season in WA is usually around 10 million tonnes and this year we are now estimating 9.1-9.3 million tonnes of receivals. Some good rains in September have ensured the yields and those estimates should be maintained."

The current estimates for this harvest per port zone are as follows;

Geraldton             1.5 million tonnes

Kwinana               4.0 million tonnes

Albany                  2.1 million tonnes

Esperance           1.55 million tonnes

Total                     9.1-9.3 million tonnes

Mr Tutt noted that along with the smaller crop, the harvesting period would more than likely reduce and growers were urged to be patient at receival sites to ensure everyone stays safe throughout the busy harvest period.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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01 OctoberCBH CEO Andy Crane named as a NAB Agribusiness Award finalist

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer Andy Crane has been named a finalist for Agribusiness Leader of the Year in the NAB Agribusiness Awards for Excellence 2012.

The awards, run by Monash University in association with NAB Agribusiness, recognise the achievements of individuals and businesses in nine key agribusiness areas including innovation, export, strategic growth, family farming, climate action, primary production and leadership.

The winners will be announced in Melbourne on 1 November.

CBH Group Chairman Neil Wandel congratulated Dr Crane on gaining recognition for his leadership and dedication to Australia's largest co-operative and the grain growers of Western Australia.

"Since taking the reins as CEO of the CBH Group in 2009, Andy has ensured that the co-operative's focus remains on creating and returning value to all WA growers," he said.

"Andy has led a reconfirmation with our growers of the competitiveness of our co-operative business model, the creation of value return measures and delivery and a commitment to valuing our employees through improving safety and engagement.

"Other key initiatives led by Andy include partnerships and acquisitions along the grain supply chain, their subsequent integration and improving the efficiency of the broader business.

"We wish Andy all the best for the upcoming awards and also extend our congratulations to his co-finalist David Lock from the Craig Mostyn Group, who are no doubt equally as proud of their chief executive officer and his achievements." 

For more information about the NAB Agribusiness Awards for Excellence go to www.nabagribusinessawards.com.au 

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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September

28 SeptemberCBH Grain finalises 2011-12 canola pool

CBH Grain have finalised their 2011-12 canola Harvest Pool at $556.41 per tonne for CAN1. 

The 2011-12 season saw a record canola crop produced in Western Australia, with a total of 1.1 million metric tonnes (mmt) delivered to the bin.

CBH Grain Head of Pools Bryce Banfield said despite the late start to the growing season, conditions throughout the season proved favourable and growers achieved above average yields in most parts of the state.

"The record crop did however put pressure on prices during the early stages of the pool sales program in January to March of this year," he said.

"With our strong push to be the market leader in supplying sustainable canola to Europe, we continued to get good values from key markets in this region for non-GM canola.

"East Asian markets came into play later in the sales program and the majority of the remaining pool tonnes were sold into this region.

"Thank you to all growers who supported the CBH Grain 2011-12 canola pool and you should expect your final payment into your nominated bank account early next week."

The following table identifies the final distribution, advance and deferred payments made for the 2011-12 canola pool in Western Australia.

 

Grade

Final Payment

Final EPR

CAN1

$58.71

$556.41

CAN 2

$58.71

$556.41

CAG 1

$51.29

$508.49

CAG 2

$51.29

$508.49

 

CBH Grain 2012-13 Harvest Pools will be open for nomination and contracting in the next few weeks.  For more information please contact your local Business Relationship Manager or the Grower Service Centre on 1800 199 083.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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28 SeptemberCBH Group announces reward program

The CBH Group today announced plans to reward growers' patronage through a new program to offset future receival fees.

Under the program, growers in Western Australia who marketed grain through CBH Grain in the 2011-12 season will receive a rebate which will be offset against future CBH receival fees.  

CBH Group Acting Chief Executive Officer David Moroney said that the initiative was borne from grower feedback and the CBH Group's purpose to create and return value to growers.

"This Grower Loyalty Rebate has been made possible because the large volumes of grain marketed by CBH Grain in the 2011-12 season have lowered our costs per tonne," Mr Moroney said.

"Growers have been telling us they want to see reduced fees and that cashflow is more challenging at the beginning of harvest when most growers haven't sold any grain yet."

A voucher, showing the value of the Grower Loyalty Rebate, will be posted to all eligible growers in late October.

"The Receival Fee Voucher provides all Western Australian growers who have done business with CBH Grain with a credit that will be used to automatically offset their receival fees as they deliver to CBH over future years," he said.

"The value of the voucher is calculated using the number of tonnes that the individual grower sold to CBH Grain between 1 October 2011 and 30 September 2012."

Growers will receive a $1.00 per tonne credit for the tonnes sold to CBH Grain during this period.

Growers who sold to the Plum Grove Harvest Pool between 1 October 2011 and 30 September 2012 will also receive a $1.00 per tonne credit, in recognition that those tonnes are marketed internationally by CBH Grain.

"The program will deliver total savings to growers this harvest of more than $6 million. We hope this goes some way to alleviating the pressure that growers feel early in harvest, before they've sold any grain, to help their cashflow position when they need it most," he said.

For more information growers can visit the CBH Group website at www.cbh.com.au or call the Grower Service Centre on 1800 199 083.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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28 SeptemberCBH offers segregation for Hindmarsh barley to test market

The CBH Group will offer limited segregations for Hindmarsh barley in each port zone this harvest to get feedback on whether there is a viable, differentiated market for the variety.

CBH Group General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said the limited trial segregations were in response to requests from grower and marketers and would help establish whether the cost of storing Hindmarsh separately to Feed barley varieties was justified.

"Hindmarsh is currently received into Feed barley segregations in Western Australia but there is interest to determine whether it can be successfully marketed as a higher value grade," Mr Tutt said.

"By offering these services, we are providing all marketers with the opportunity to provide feedback in the most tangible way possible, via price."

Hindmarsh does not meet the standards set by Barley Australia to be classified as a Malt barley; however it has been classified as a Food barley rather than a Feed Barley.

This allows it to be used in markets where barley is processed for human consumption, including for trials in Japan in the manufacture of the distilled spirit, shochu. It also may be suitable for more price-sensitive barley markets.

Mr Tutt said the trial segregation for Hindmarsh will have receival standards equivalent to Malt 1. The trial receival sites will be at:

Albany Zone - Albany terminal

Esperance Zone - Mt Madden and Esperance terminal

Geraldton Zone - Geraldton terminal

Kwinana Zone - Meckering and Jubuk.

"We will evaluate the success of the segregation for growers post-harvest to determine whether it will remain in place in future seasons," Mr Tutt said.

"Storage space in our network for barley is limited as reflected in the service rationalisation plan we announced earlier this year. We need to do everything we can to ensure we can accommodate the current and new varieties that return the most value to growers."

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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26 SeptemberCBH welcomes support for further wheat reform

The CBH Group has welcomed the declarations of support for continuing wheat market reform from the Western Australian Government and Nationals WA Federal Member for O'Connor, Tony Crook, MP.

Acting Chief Executive Officer David Moroney said CBH and the major organisations representing grain growers in Western Australia strongly supported the continuing deregulation of wheat exports proposed in the Federal Government's Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill.

"As a grower co-operative, we commend Mr Crook and the Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett MLA, for their statements this week that continuing reform now is in the best interests of WA growers," Mr Moroney said.

"We would urge all WA Federal representatives to follow their example. Western Australia is the largest, most consistent exporter of wheat from Australia and this Bill will remove what are now unnecessary costs and regulation on an industry which must be globally competitive.

"Since wheat marketing arrangements began the transition in 2008 to a multi-seller system, Western Australian growers have benefitted from higher returns for their wheat when compared with their eastern states counterparts.

"This has occurred for a number of reasons including good quality clean grain, a superior storage handling and transport system in WA geared specifically for exports and our better geographic position in relation to important Asian markets."

Mr Moroney said CBH, like other major participants in the increasingly competitive grains sector, required legislative certainty to continue to invest in key assets, such as CBH's new train fleet, to maintain and drive economic efficiencies to ensure WA grain remained competitive in world markets.

"The reduction in the current legislative certainty, by not supporting the continued transition of wheat marketing arrangements as outlined in the WEMA bill, will diminish investor confidence in the grains industry," he said.

Mr Moroney said the industry was already well advanced on a code of conduct which would provide fair, efficient and transparent access to port terminal services.

Industry representatives from grower organisations, marketers and port terminal operators as well as the Federal Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have met formally since early in 2012 and expect to release a draft code for industry wide consultation before the end of 2012.

"The last thing this industry needs is for our Federal representatives to stall further reform, impose an unnecessary levy on all wheat exports and potentially open the door for more regulation rather than less," he said.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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17 SeptemberCBH Group truck time-out raises safety awareness

The CBH Group's shut down of all movements of grain by road for five hours earlier this month after three truck incidents in four days allowed the co-operative and its transport contractors to focus on safety awareness and devise strategies to collaboratively reduce the number of incidents involving grain trucks.

CBH Group General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said he understands building a safety culture takes time and will continue to work with all of transport contractors to develop safety strategies within their business.

"During the shut down we listened to our contractors concerns and suggestions on ways we can improve our services. CBH also offered ways we are prepared to support our contractors to achieve the safest outcomes including an offer to assist with training and ongoing safety awareness support.

"Since the shut down we have already seen fundamental changes taking place and we are pleased with the willingness of our contractors to heighten their levels of safety and commitment to work with us to achieve our safety goals."

Mr Tutt said one strategy to be implemented would be a procedure to notify truck drivers ahead of a journey of any influencing factors to their safety and of other users, including mapping out roads in poor condition; notifying of roadworks; impacting weather or any other traffic concerns.

An independent audit of all contractors has also been undertaken by the Industrial Foundation Accident Prevention (IFAP), a leading health and safety and risk management solutions group, to identify specific areas to be addressed.

Mr Tutt said all contractors would be invited to meet with him again in October to further discuss their safety awareness and ongoing action plans.

"The decision to shut down all road transport was not taken lightly. CBH believes the down time was necessary for the safety of our contractors, their drivers and other road users," he said.

"One of CBH's safety principles is "no activity is so important it can not be done safely" and CBH wants to ensure that safety is always given the highest priority."

The shut down of all road transport was called by CBH Group after three truck rollovers occurred across the state in the Albany, Kwinana and Esperance zones, which brought the tally since harvest to 10 truck rollovers. Fortunately there were no serious injuries or fatalities of the grain trucks involved.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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10 SeptemberDavid Willis re-appointed to CBH Board

The CBH Group has announced that David Willis has been re-appointed to its Board as an independent director with special skills for a second term.

Mr Willis current three-year term expires at the co-operative's next Annual General Meeting on 27 February 2013. His second term will formally commence at the conclusion of that meeting.

CBH Group Chairman Neil Wandel said Mr Willis had made an outstanding contribution to the Board and his re-appointment as one of three independent directors would assist with continuity and ensure a range of relevant expertise is maintained among its Directors.

"David's extensive experience in senior executive roles and as a company director complements the skills of our nine member-elected grower Directors," Mr Wandel said.

Mr Willis was Chief Executive Officer of HBOS Australia from 2004 to January 2009. Before that, Mr Willis held senior executive positions with Westpac Banking Corporation and Lloyds Bank Australia.

He was appointed to the CBH Board in March 2010 and in 2011 accepted the role of Chairman of the Audit and Risk Management Committee. He is also a member of the Investment Committee.

"David is a qualified accountant with more than 30 years business experience in the Asia Pacific, UK  and USA, including more than 25 years working with Australian and foreign Banks," Mr Wandel said.

"He holds a number of Board positions with public and private companies in several sectors and across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He also acts as advisor to several companies and chairs a charity assisting disadvantaged youth."

Mr Willis is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Three member-elected Director positions will also expire at the 2013 AGM - one in District 2, currently held by Mick McGinniss, a second in District 3 currently held by Kevin Fuchsbichler, and the third in District 4 currently held by Trevor Badger.

Nominations for these positions will open on 29 November 2012 and close on 4 January 2013 and if required a postal ballot of members in those Districts will run from 18 January 2013 to 18 February 2013. CBH members will be provided with more information closer to the time.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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07 SeptemberCBH Grain now offers uncapped oil premium for canola cash’

CBH Grain has removed the cap on the oil premium offered for their canola cash contracts.

Growers will now receive an unlimited price adjustment of 1.5% of the contract price for every percent of oil content above 42%.  Previously this has been capped at an oil content of 44.5%.

General Manager CBH Grain, Jason Craig said, "We have removed the cap to encourage growers to target the production of high oil content canola which is highly sought after by our key canola customers."

"As the leading marketer of canola from WA, we continue to look for ways to bring benefits back to WA growers," explains Mr Craig.

"The removal of the oil bonus cap will directly reward growers for the production of high oil content canola and allow CBH Grain to satisfy the needs of our primary customers."

The uncapped bonus will apply to all existing and new 2012-13 CBH Grain canola cash contracts. 

Media Contact: Brianna Peake, Communications and Marketing Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9818

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03 SeptemberCBH Group maintains storage and handling charges

The CBH Group has announced it will keep its storage and handling charges flat for the 2012-13 season on the back of the record 15 million tonne 2011-12 crop and subsequent record shipping exports.

The co-operative has also announced plans to increase capital spending on the storage and handling network to better service Western Australian growers and the grain industry.

General Manager Operations, Colin Tutt, said while CBH faced labour cost increases of between 5-6 percent and inflation on other expenses of around 4 percent in 2012-13, the record breaking harvest in 2011-12 has positioned the CBH Group to absorb these increases and avoid passing them on to growers in the coming year.

"CBH is always striving to provide the most efficient and cost effective supply chain for the growers of Western Australia and actions such as keeping the storage and handling fees flat are the best way of demonstrating that," he said.

"Growers have told us that it is the single most important way their co-operative can return value to them."

Mr Tutt said CBH invests approximately $85 million annually into capital maintenance and upgrades of the storage and handling network and, in addition to holding fees flat, the record crop has allowed the co-operative to commit a further $40 million over the next three years.

"The additional commitment will be specifically targeted at improving turnaround times at sites during harvest, one of the other most important ways that growers have told us their co-operative can return value to them," he said.

"This additional investment will enable us to speed up our program to improve sample huts, weighbridges, grids, belts, stackers, elevators and the like at a number of sites across the network aimed at helping growers get through our sites and back to the paddock to get their crop harvested as quickly as possible."

CBH Group Chairman Neil Wandel said maintaining the storage and handling fees for this season meant CBH had kept fees flat in all but one of the past four years despite the high cost environment in Western Australia. Together with the increase in funds dedicated to capital expenditure, this demonstrated the CBH Board's commitment to putting growers' interests first.

"We are the only major grain organisation that remains grower-owned and controlled and the priorities of the CBH Group, when compared to other major bulk handlers in Australia that have recently announced increases in their fees for 2012-13, demonstrate that our business decisions are wholly driven by the best long-term interests of growers," Mr Wandel said.

Full details of the storage and handling fee structure for 2012-13 will be provided to growers in coming weeks through the CBH Harvest Handbook.

Media Contact:  Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
03 SeptemberCBH is Australia’s No. 1 co-op for the third year in a row

The CBH Group has been named Australia's number one co-operative in the annual Top 100 list of Co-operatives, Credit Unions and Mutuals released by Co-operatives Australia for the third consecutive year.

CBH Group was ranked ahead of Murray Goulburn Co-operative and RACQ (Queensland). Meanwhile, three other leading Western Australian organisations comprising Capricorn Society, HBF of WA and RAC WA made the top 10.

Acting CBH Group Chief Executive Officer, David Moroney, said retaining the position as Australia's leading co-operative, with total revenue of $2.870 billion, is a significant achievement for CBH Group and the growers of Western Australia.

CBH is owned and controlled by around 4,500 Western Australian grain growers.

"Our number one rating in the Top 100 list for the past three years is a clear demonstration that co-operatives can be successful business models and in some sectors can do better than corporate entities, provided they adapt to their changing environment," he said.

"We are proud to be a co-operative and believe our sole focus on creating and returning value to growers gives us a unique advantage in a competitive marketplace."

Mr Moroney said the report recognised the significant contributions of co-operatives in Australia which was particularly fitting in 2012 - the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.

"The report highlights that across Australia there are almost 13 million members of co-operatives with a national turnover of more than $17 billion. Western Australia is noted as having the highest turnover of any state with agriculture achieving the greatest revenue of any industry, a great achievement of which CBH and every grower should be proud," he said.

Mr Moroney said the CBH Group has undergone significant transformation over the past two years to become a far more efficient and effective organisation with the aim of delivering more value for grain growers.

In 2011, grower members of the CBH Group voted overwhelmingly to modernise the constitution and become the first WA co-operative to transition to the new WA Co-operatives Act.

Co-operatives Australia publishes the top 100 list to facilitate greater awareness of co-operatives and demonstrate the economic and social impact of co-operatives, credit unions and mutual businesses.

Co-operatives Australia, the national body for State Co-operative Federations, compiled the list based on total group revenue including marketing pool revenues. Industries represented in the top 100 list include agriculture, consumer, finance, insurance and purchasing.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]

August

24 AugustReport calls for continuing wheat reform

A study commissioned by grower co-operative, the CBH Group, has endorsed the Federal Government's plans to further wind back regulation of the wheat export market to bring it into line with other agricultural exports.

The report Continuing the Reforms of the Australian Wheat Export Market was prepared by ACIL Tasman.

It says the reforms to date, and the expectation further deregulation would occur in 2014, had attracted a range of new services to the market from existing and new participants.

In addition, there had been significant infrastructure investment and grain was being exported to more countries than under the previous single-desk system.

"Growers have been the main beneficiaries of these reforms through improved services and more competition for their grain," the report says.

"Export dependent WA grain growers in particular have in recent seasons established improved prices for their wheat exports when compared with Australian east coast growers."

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Crane said CBH had commissioned the analysis from respected economic consultancy ACIL Tasman because of concern over pressure from some groups who wanted to turn back the clock and re-regulate the industry. The views of these groups were not shared by many in the industry including all major grower organisations in Western Australia.

"It is competition, not more regulation, that will drive efficiency, focus on appropriate quality, competitive pricing and innovation," Dr Crane said.

"Regulation will not solve any perceived problems or gaps that have occurred since deregulation, these will be resolved over time by the normal operation of the market as they are with almost every other commodity exported from Australia."

Dr Crane said the ACIL report had confirmed the increased regulation being called for by opponents of continuing reform was not based on substantive evidence. On the contrary, reregulation would discourage industry investment and push more costs back onto Australian growers and traders.

"The Federal Government's WEMA Amendment Bill 2012 is very important legislation for wheat growers," Dr Crane said.

"It should be supported by those who want to see the wheat export industry reach its potential, free of unnecessary, costly, inflexible and potentially unworkable regulation.

"We urge all members of Federal Parliament to carefully consider the implications of imposing further regulation and levies on an industry when there is little or no evidence it is required, or that it has anything like full industry support.

"Parliamentary representatives also should be aware that the uncertainty created by the current situation is also detrimental to industry planning and could stall investment.

"This industry needs to be given more of a chance to come together to agree on industry issues and resolve them ourselves. This includes the development of an industry code of conduct on port access which is now well underway and will be flexible and responsive to industry needs."

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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24 AugustCBH Group officially launches new $175 million rail fleet

Today the CBH Group officially launched its $175 million investment in a new fleet of locomotives and wagons to help haul the Western Australian annual grain harvest.

The event celebrated the purchase of 22 new locomotives, each named after historic rail sidings across the WA wheatbelt, and 574 new purpose-built wagons, of which 446 are narrow gauge and 128 standard gauge. This is the first dedicated new grain rail fleet to arrive in Western Australia in more than 30 years.

Among the crowd of around 700 guests and dignitaries at the CBH Group Metro Grain Centre in Forrestfield were State Minister for Agriculture and Food, Terry Redman, Federal Special Minister for State Gary Gray, CBH Group Chairman Neil Wandel, CBH Group Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Crane and Watco Companies Chief Commercial Officer Ed McKechnie.

CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said today marks two years of dedication and hard work to bring the dream of growers owning their own rail fleet to life and also marks the beginning of a very proud chapter in the history of the CBH Group and the WA grain industry.

"We will go from strength to strength this year as each train is commissioned and growers see more tonnes moving to port more efficiently," he said.

"The trains have state-of-the-art technology and across the fleet we'll have more horsepower to achieve faster journeys to port and faster turnaround times at sites.

"The locomotives have distributed power which means they can push and pull, allowing us to operate more efficiently and be far more productive.  This coupled with our new light-weight aluminium wagons will revitalise rail in Western Australia."

The five winning entrants in the CBH Group Name a Train competition, which was run in 2011, comprising three growers and two CBH employees, were invited to attend the launch and presented with plaques thanking them for the contribution in giving our first rail fleet an identity.

The winning names were Yilliminning entered in by Andrew Borthwick; Mooterdine entered in by Kelvin Price; and Baandee entered in by Mark Smith.

"Many of these old rail sidings are now abandoned; nevertheless they are an important part of the early rail expansion in WA," Mr Tutt said.

"In moving forward to a modern and sustainable rail future, we can now remember and pay tribute to the history that gave us the opportunity to build such a globally competitive grain industry."

A full list of the locomotives names can be found here.

 Images from the event will be available shortly.

Footage will be made available through the ABC Gateway after the event.

Background:

CBH Group

The CBH Group is a Western Australian grower owned co-operative controlled by around 4,500 grower-shareholders who plant and harvest grain grown across the 320,000 square kilometres that comprise the Western Australian grain belt.

Established in 1933 and now incorporating grain storage, handling, transport, shipping, marketing and processing, the CBH Group has developed into one of Australia's leading grain business with total assets in excess of $1.5 billion and annual revenue of almost $2 billion.

Its total grain storage capacity is in excess of 20 million tonnes and handles the Western Australian harvest, averaging 10 million tonnes annually and of which around 90 per cent is exported. A key component of this export task is the rail transport and logistics of moving grain from CBH's country receival sites to its four export terminals.

During 2010 the CBH Group tendered its rail transport contract for the first time, with an aim to develop a new, long term arrangement for above-rail operations that delivered a more efficient, effective grain transport and logistics service to Western Australian grain growers. 

The CBH Group awarded its 10-year above-rail contract to Watco Companies of the United States in late 2010.  The contract, to be implemented by Watco WA Rail, officially commenced 1 May 2012. 

It also invested $175 million to purchase 22 new locomotives (built by Motive Power Industries based in Idaho, USA) and 574 new wagons (built by Bradken Ltd).

 More information on the CBH Group can be found at www.cbh.com.au

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
21 AugustCBH’s Quality Optimisation recognised as WA Project of the Year

A year after the CBH Group rolled out Quality Optimisation to wheat growers in Western Australia the innovative tool has been recognised by the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) as WA Project of the Year.

The Quality Optimisation project won first place in the Agricultural Projects category and the Best Overall project.

Quality Optimisation now goes forward into the national awards to be announced at the national AIPM conference in Melbourne later this year.

One of the judges commented the principal of returning value to our growers was quite evident in the CBH Group submission and was a clear outcome of the project.

CBH Group General Manager Operations, Colin Tutt, said the award was a fantastic achievement for CBH Group, the Quality Optimisation team and the growers of WA.

"The Quality Optimisation system was rolled out across all zones in 2011-12 providing growers with the ability to maximise the value of their wheat without having to blend on-farm," he said.

"The system allowed growers to bring the harvest in more quickly with less equipment and less man power.

"We believe the conservative benefit of Quality Optimisation for that season from grade uplifts equates to at least $4 per tonne for growers across the wheat crop.

"The QO project was a fine example of how to bring very diverse groups of people from across our business together with a clear common goal. The management of the project crossed divides and engaged with all levels of our business to get the job done effectively."

Nearly 2700 growers took up Quality Optimisation during its first year with 4.6 million tonnes of wheat going through the post-delivery online optimisation process by the January cut-off dates.

Of that, almost 2 million tonnes were able to shift grade.

Mr Tutt said the outcome of the tool in its inaugural year and the recognition by AIPM was a very promising start for one of the most significant developments for grain growers in recent years.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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20 AugustFirst Japanese MAFF tender wheat loaded at Kwinana

The first wheat tender contract awarded to CBH Grain through the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) was loaded in Western Australia today. This is an important step in the process of bringing WA growers closer to Japanese customers.

The inaugural shipment will set off from Kwinana later this week with an estimated 15 day journey to Japan where it will unload at three Japanese ports, Chiba, Keihin and Kashima.

CBH Grain Head of Marketing, Tom Puddy was at the CBH Group Kwinana Port Terminal as the Sofia R was loaded today.

"The sale was for 35,600 tonne of MAFF ASW blend wheat, a blend of noodle and premium milling grade wheat, destined for east Japan," Mr Puddy said.

"Japan purchases around 900,000 metric tonne (mt) of MAFF ASW from WA every year through a regular tender process conducted by MAFF. Only accredited trading houses are allowed to participate in the wheat tender process."

The MAFF accreditation enables CBH Grain, via its Japan office to participate in the MAFF wheat tender process and subsequently import wheat directly into Japan.

This common style of tender process is used by many countries and works by multiple accredited bidders submitting their bidding price to a central organisation and the contract being awarded to the business with the most competitive bid.

"Traditionally CBH Grain has joined the regular tender with Japanese trading houses accredited by MAFF to present WA wheat for tender," Mr Puddy said.

"CBH Grain has worked for almost two years to become the first WA grain buyer to become accredited under the MAFF system and now has direct access to offer wheat to the Japanese market through MAFF tenders.

"Achieving this accreditation brings WA wheat growers closer to Japanese end-users and creates a direct link for customer appetite levels to be fed directly back to WA growers through the CBH Grain supply chain."

CBH Grain will continue to participate directly in MAFF wheat tenders when appropriate but has the option to work with its current Japanese trading houses when the requirement arises and will continue to engage in those long term relationships where it adds values to WA growers.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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16 AugustWinners named in CBH Group 2012 Photo Competition

The CBH Group has named the winners of its 12th annual photographic competition from a strong field of more than 200 entries.

The competition was judged last week by   Countryman staff photographer Danella Bevis, Clarity Communications Design Director Daniel Carroll and CBH Group Business Relationship Manager Reid Seaby.

The judges selected 14 winners from the categories: CBH Group Members and their immediate families; Rural Community Residents; Children up to 15 years; CBH Group Employees; and an Overall Winner.

Northam resident Merv French was awarded the Overall Winner for his photo of farm dog Sally perched on the bonnet of a Mack truck and the caption 'The farm dog is always part of the family'.

The judging panel noted Mr French's photo encapsulated this year's competition theme 'Year of the Farmer' through the depiction of a scene most farmers could assimilate and recognise. The judges applauded the lighting and composition of the image which emphasized the rustic tones and captured the essence of a farming lifestyle.   

Mr Carroll said the talent across the field of entries this year was exceptional and some tough decisions had to be made to choose the winners, but the winning entries displayed something particularly outstanding.

"The broad theme of the competition, Year of the Farmer, encouraged entries across all aspects of life in rural Western Australia, however there was strong recurring imagery depicting young families, hard work, companionship and the constant dependence on the weather," he said.

"Debbie Cristinelli's work of a young boy checking the rain gauge and Dani McCreery's image of a young boy celebrating next to a hay bale were both standouts in the CBH Group Member category.

"Liz Robertson's image of a young girl waiting on the porch of a homestead for her father to return home from a day of farming and Christine Bairstow's image of innovative harvesting were captured in dramatic lighting and picturesque locations making them powerful references to the isolation and hard work of life on the land."

The judges noted Liam Mann of Tenindewa's winning entry in the Rural Community Residents category entitled 'Jack Frost' offered a unique perspective of a fleeting moment in time and captured the sentiment of many WA growers who have faced frosty weather conditions this growing season.

The judges made particular note of the quality and creativity of the entries in the children's category this year.

"It was fantastic to be able to see what farm life in rural WA looks like through the eyes of a child and to see the developing ability of these potential future photographers," Ms Bevis said.

"Tyson Bell's image was a standout winner in the children's category, he took a really creative concept and executed it superbly with his use of colour and composition.

"It was playful and simplistic yet perhaps also told the story of a young boy's dream to one day drive a tractor and boomspray just like his father."

The winning entries will be on display at the CBH Group marquee at the upcoming Dowerin, Newdegate and Mingenew Field Days. Visitors to Dowerin will be able to view every entry to the CBH Group Photo Competition and have the opportunity to vote for their personal favourite in the Countryman People's Choice Award.

Alternatively you can vote for your favourite photo from 23 August by logging on to www.countryman.com.au and selecting your favourite photo. The Countryman People's Choice Award winner will be announced after the field day season.

Click here to view the winning entries.

Category

Name

Location

Overall winner

Merv French

Northam

CBH Group Members

Ken Watson

Debbie Cristinelli

Melina Turriff

Dani McCreery

Liz Robertson

Christine Bairstow

Carnamah

Tambellup

Dowerin

Kalannie

Katanning

Dumbleyung

Rural Community Residents

 

 

Merv French

Liam Mann

Coralie Lindley

Northam

Tenindewa

Westonia

Children up to 15 years

Erin Schilling

Tyson Bell

Lesmurdie

Corrigin

CBH Group Employees

Leon Fallon

Jocelyn Tysoe

Head Office

Head Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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13 AugustNew Regional Manager joins CBH Group’s Eastern Australia team

The CBH Group has announced the appointment of Scott Wallace to the CBH Grain Eastern Australian team as a Regional Manager for Northern New South Wales and Queensland.

Scott joins the team from his previous role within the CBH Group as Business Relationship Manager (BRM) servicing the Esperance region in Western Australia.

Scott will be based in Narrabri and operate in a team of five Regional Managers committed to providing growers in Eastern Australia with information on CBH Grain's innovative pools and competitive cash pricing options, as well as information from the market and feedback from our international customers.

Regional Managers are not only a valuable source of information for growers, but also provide valuable feedback to marketers throughout the year on production and marketing issues. This feedback allows CBH Group to improve our existing products and develop new marketing options to better meet growers' needs.

Scott has extensive experience in agriculture across Australia which started at the family farm in Central West NSW.

Upon completing a Bachelor of Rural Science degree at the University of New England, Scott moved into agronomy working in Bourke and Coonamble in NSW before moving to Esperance in WA.  His professional career progressed to the grain marketing sector after securing a position with CBH Grain as a BRM in 2008.

Scott has worked closely with the growers in Esperance region for a number of years and looks forward to continuing to build relationship with growers in his home state and investigate solutions that help fulfil their requirements.

"The grower focus of CBH makes it an easy choice for considering opportunities within the business. I am really looking forward to extending some of the CBH advantages to growers in NSW and Queensland," Scott said.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
09 AugustCBH Grain pool estimate increase for Eastern Australia

CBH Grain has announced an increase to the 2011-12 wheat Harvest Pool estimates for Eastern Australia of $5 per tonne for APW1, with adjustments to other grade spreads as well.

CBH Grain Head of Pools Bryce Banfield said US, Russian, Australian and Chinese weather concerns are the main catalyst for the recent wheat rally.

"The heat wave in the US is currently providing the greatest deal of concern, with corn seen as the crop that is currently under the biggest threat," he said.

"Lack of rain is also impacting yields in the Black Sea region and is increasingly a focus for Australian production.

"While the wheat Harvest Pool hedging mandate is almost at completion, our portfolio strategy has increased the optionality to provide downside protection whilst allowing upside participation. Should the market continue to rally we'll aim to position this protection at higher levels.

"Our foreign currency hedge strategy remains a measured accumulation of cover over time. Recently the pool took advantage of the dip in AUD/USD to protect against potential moves higher and the pool is now in a favourable position against currency appreciation. We will look to add cover at beneficial levels whilst the AUD/USD remains within the current range and re-assess the view on a breakout in either direction.

"We are still forecasting the wheat harvest pool to be fully sold and finalised in late March 2013."

CBH Grain Pool participants will continue to be kept updated on pool performance through CBH Grain's Pool Talk publication, available online at www.cbh.com.au

Below is a table of the EPR's as at 3 August:

Estimated Pool Return for Wheat No.1 Pool ($/mt)

 

SA

VIC

NSW

QLD*

APH1

-

-

$324.00

$324.00

APH2

-

-

$319.00

$319.00

H1

$300.00

$299.00

$299.00

$299.00

H2

$290.00

$289.00

$289.00

$289.00

APW1

$260.00

$259.00

$259.00

$259.00

ASW1

$248.00

$247.00

$247.00

$247.00

AGP1

$240.00

$239.00

$239.00

$239.00

FED1

$230.00

$229.00

$229.00

$229.00

*Please note in QLD the pool is restricted to the Brisbane port zone

For more information regarding pool payments for different grades and payment methods please check the CBH Grain Pool Budget Guide on the CBH website www.cbh.com.au or contact your CBH Grain Regional Manager.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
07 AugustRecord grain shipments from WA in July

The CBH Group exported a record 1,106,931 tonnes from its four grain export terminals in Western Australia in July.

CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said the July shipping record was an especially satisfying achievement given the complex transition currently underway to a more efficient grain rail freight system using a new operator and new rail fleet. 

"I thank the CBH Operations team, our new rail provider, Watco, and our road contractors who have worked so hard to achieve this," Mr Tutt said.

"Following the record 15 million tonne harvest, many of our people have been working very long hours since last October, and the demands will continue for some months yet as we clear the network for next harvest."

 Mr Tutt said CBH was passionate about moving tonnes to port quickly, efficiently and safely to service the needs of Western Australian growers and the customers of their grain.

"It is not uncommon earlier in the year to ship more than 1.1 million tonnes a month as capacity is boosted by stocks at port and more grain is accessible at country storages closer to port," he said.  

"However achieving this monthly volume later in the year is much more challenging as every tonne has to brought from further away. To do it in the middle of the rail transition is particularly pleasing.

"This achievement also reflects the ability of our Grain Express logistics system to co-ordinate grain movements to maximise the efficiency and capacity of the WA supply chain to port."

 The previous biggest July shipping volume was 1,076,433 set in 2004.

 CBH expects to have its full new rail fleet of 22 locomotives and 574 wagons in operation for the next harvest. To date, 10 locomotives have arrived from the United States and are either operational or being commissioned and more than 400 wagons are in use.

"We expect to ship approximately 13.5 million tonnes by 30 October which will certainly be an all time annual shipping record for Western Australia and an achievement that growers and CBH can be proud of given the challenges of the past 12 months," Mr Tutt said.

 Media Contact:Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]

July

30 JulyNew Business Relationship Manager joins CBH Group

The CBH Group has announced the appointment of Courtney Rose as the new Business Relationship Manager to service the Esperance region.

Courtney joins a team of 12 Business Relationship Managers committed to providing growers with information on CBH Grain's innovative pools and competitive cash pricing options, as well as information from the market and feedback from our international customers.

The Business Relationship Managers also provide valuable feedback to the CBH marketing team throughout the year on production and marketing issues. This helps CBH to improve existing products and develop new marketing options to better meet growers' needs.

Courtney joins the co-operative with strong experience in the grains industry, having previously worked with GrainCorp as a Grain Merchant for the southern region of WA and in the agribusiness banking sector.

She grew up on her family farm at Wickepin and completed a double degree in Agriculture and Commerce at the University of Western Australia. 

"The opportunity with CBH has enabled me to move to Esperance to be closer to my partner who farms with his family at Scaddan," Courtney said.

"Having previously worked with the CBH Group as a sampler for seven harvest seasons during school and university holidays, I have always regarded the CBH Group as a reputable organisation and excellent to work for.

"I am excited by the opportunities that CBH can provide in terms of allowing me to continue to work in the grains industry and enhance my knowledge of the constantly changing grain marketing environment."

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
20 JulyNew appointments at CBH Group

The CBH Group has announced a number of senior appointments to its Operations team as part of a divisional restructure aimed at improving the grain storage and handling services provided to growers and customers by the co-operative.

Andrew Mencshelyi will become Logistics Manager responsible for all land logistics. Andrew's team will be accountable for CBH's new rail fleet, the relationship with our new rail provider Watco as well as all other land transport.

Jodie Ransom has been appointed Customer and Export Manager. Jodie will lead the CBH Operations Customer and Export team in looking after customers, the CBH Grain Stock team, joint venture Australian Bulk Stevedoring, Eastern Australia Logistics and Shipping and Chartering.

Reflecting CBH's commitment to safety, Max Johnson has been appointed to the new role of Safety and Continuous Improvement Manager. This will allow Operations to develop better leadership of safety within the co-operative.

David Capper will succeed Max as Grain Operations Manager from 30 August 2012. David is currently Strategy Manager, Operations.

General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said CBH was focused on the development of its people and the new structural changes would allow the Operations team to effectively manage the Western Australian grain supply chain.

"These changes are being undertaken to ensure we have a strong CBH Operations team committed to providing products and services to growers and customers and provide our employees with the opportunity to develop and ensure expert operational knowledge is carried through to the next generation of managers," he said.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
05 JulyNew CBH trains get to work

The CBH Group's new rail fleet continues to grow with two new locomotives commencing work in the Geraldton Zone this week, bringing the total to four locomotives and over 300 wagons currently working across three zones in Western Australia.

CBH Group Logistics Manager Andrew Mencshelyi said CBH 004: Pantapin and CBH 005: Kulyaling headed to the Geraldton Zone this week to commence loading grain and carting tonnes from Carnamah to port.

In the Albany Zone CBH 001: Yilliminning and CBH 002: Mooterdine continue to load grain at Hyden, Wagin and Cranbrook and cart to port.

Meanwhile, 40 wagons are operating in the Kwinana Zone behind leased locomotives on the Merredin feeder lines.

"It is exciting times for CBH Group, Watco WA Rail and the growers of Western Australia as the dream of the co-operative owning and operating its own rail fleet becomes reality," Mr Mencshelyi said.

"We will go from strength to strength this year as each new train arrives and is commissioned and growers see more tonnes moving to port more efficiently. This is the start of an efficient, effective and competitive era for CBH on rail."

Mr Mencshelyi said CBH Group's new above-rail provider Watco WA Rail now has over 90 employees at various locations throughout the Wheatbelt as its operations continue to ramp up with the delivery of more locomotives.

"The CBH Group and Watco WA Rail continue to work closely to ensure a smooth transition to the new rail provider and enable the scheduling of the trains and the placement of the new locomotives for the most productive outcomes," he said.

Mr Mencshelyi said the new rail fleet includes standard and narrow gauge locomotives, with half the fleet comprising 2700 horsepower engines and the other half 3300 horsepower engines. The first four to arrive are all 2700 horsepower narrow gauge locomotives. 

It is expected that ten locomotives will be in service across the state by the end of July with the remaining fleet not far behind. 

Images of the locomotives are available here.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541 

[Close]
02 JulyNew members named on CBH Group Growers Advisory Council

The CBH Group has named eight new members to positions on the Growers Advisory Council (GAC) which helps to facilitate communication between the CBH Board and growers at the grass roots level.

The new members include Terry Counsel of Wubin; Andrew Todd of Dowerin; Mark Graham of Narrogin; Lindsay Tuckwell of Kondinin; Dwight Ness of Newdegate; Tim Bock of Jacup; Wayne Walter of Cascades and Andrew Fowler of Esperance.

The successful candidates were selected by a panel consisting of four grower Directors, the GAC Chairman and the CBH Group General Manager of Grower Services.

Following a recent review of the structure and function of the GAC, the term of Councillors will remain at 3 years but will be staggered so that approximately 30% of Councillors are up for nomination each year.

CBH Group Chairman, Neil Wandel, said the GAC makes a valuable contribution to the Group and the number of nominations this year was particularly pleasing.

"This year we received 23 applications to join the Growers Advisory Council which is a clear indication of the genuine desire and commitment of many growers in Western Australia to see the CBH Group continue to grow and develop for the benefit of our growers," Mr Wandel said.

"I take this opportunity to extend my thanks and recognise the significant contribution of our outgoing Councillors Darrin Lee of Mingenew; Ruth Young of Calingiri; Donna Lynch of Hyden; Rory Graham of Salmon Gums; Mark Roberts of Cascades and Ray Harrington of Darkan.

"I would like to make particular mention of the service of Mr Harrington who completed 21 years between the Grain Pool Producers Council, Grain Pool Board Member and was the inaugural Chairman of the GAC.

"Over the last nine years, the GAC has assisted CBH to continually improve its services and better represent Western Australian growers and the addition of new members will continue to help shape the future of the industry and the co-operative. I warmly welcome the successful candidates."

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

[Close]

June

21 JuneCBH Group annual photo competition gets underway

The CBH Group's annual photographic competition is on again and searching the wheatbelt for the best photographic depictions under the theme of Year of the Farmer.

This year will mark the 12th year the competition has been running and entrants are encouraged to let loose their imagination and creativity to visually depict life on the land for grain growers, their families and community in commemoration of the 2012 Australian Year of the Farmer.

 The competition is divided into five categories:

 CBH Group Members and their immediate families (CBH Grower number required) - 6 winners;

  • Rural Community Residents (people living in grainbelt communities who are not gain growers) - 2 winners;
  • CBH Group employees - 2 winners;
  • Children up to and including 15 years of age - 2 winners;
  • Overall winner - best overall photograph

 

CBH Group Chief Executive Andy Crane said this year's theme was all about encapsulating the true spirit of farmers and the vital role they play in the Western Australian landscape.

"In celebration of the Australian Year of the Farmer, our photo competition aims to honour the hard work and dedication of our grain growers, from those who come from small entities right through to large agribusiness and also recognise the families, communities and regions that stand behind them," he said.

"It's all about visually capturing the real nature of rural Australians and depicting the unique landscape they work on everyday. At CBH, we are dedicated to creating and returning value to growers and believe every grower and every story is important and should be celebrated and recognised." 

CBH is again partnering with the Countryman newspaper to host the People's Choice Award, whereby one winner will be selected by the public through online voting at www.countryman.com.au

Entries will be profiled in Countryman newspaper and website throughout the competition. The winners will also be on display at this year's Field Days with the opportunity to vote for your favourite image in the People's Choice Award and in the 2013 CBH Group calendar, website and social media sites on which CBH has a presence.

 There will be a mix of cash and other prizes up for grabs.

 Enter a maximum of four photos (with a minimum of 2MB resolution per photo) online through the CBH Group's website at www.cbh.com.au. Or via email to corporateaffairs@cbh.com.au

Alternatively, you can post your entry along with a completed entry form to Photo Competition, CBH Group Corporate Affairs, GPO Box L886, Perth, WA 6842.

The competition will close 5pm on Friday 3 August 2012, so start snapping and get your entry in today as we cannot accept late entries.

More details on the competition are available on the CBH Group website www.cbh.com.au.

To view last year's winners click here

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

[Close]
15 JunePre-Pay Advantage opening next week

CBH Grain's Pre-Pay Advantage, a unique product allowing growers to receive funds before harvest, will open for the 2012-13 season Monday 18 June. 

Pre-Pay Advantage allows growers to receive funds prior to harvest in return for a commitment of grain, while providing time and flexibility to make marketing decisions.

CBH Grain Head of Accumulations Richard Simonaitis said the product allows funds to be available at a competitive interest rate and committed tonnes can be sold to CBH Grain at any time over harvest and into any cash or pool product.

"It gives growers the flexibility of getting cash when they need it most during the season and locking away the sale of grain at a later date when it suits their marketing plan," he said.

From next week growers will be able to apply for pre-approval and if offered a contract, funds will be available for drawdown from 1 August 2012.

Mr Simonaitis said providing Pre-Pay as an option for growers is another way that CBH Grain is thinking outside the box in terms of providing value back to growers.

Pre-Pay is available for wheat, barley, canola, oats and lupins. Each application will be assessed in line with CBH Grain's guidelines and an advance rate of $100 per tonne will be advanced for successful applications.

When submitting an application growers will be required to choose a commodity for CBH Grain to reserve the first loads delivered at harvest to satisfy their Pre-Pay Advantage tonnage and repayment commitments.  If wheat is the chosen commodity to be reserved, growers can continue with Quality Optimisation with both reserved and non-reserved tonnes.

When growers are ready to sell and nominate the reserved tonnes, they will need to contact CBH Grain to complete the transaction. Committed tonnes must be nominated to CBH Grain by 31 January 2013 and any funds drawn down must also be repaid by this date.

For further information growers should contact their local Business Relationship Manager or the CBH Grower Service Centre on 1800 199 083.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

[Close]
15 JuneCBH Grain awarded first Japanese MAFF tender

CBH Grain was awarded its first wheat tender through the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) on Thursday 14 June. This is an important step in the process of bringing Western Australian growers closer to Japanese customers.

This is the first tender MAFF conducted since CBH Grain was accredited on 8 June 2012.

CBH Grain Acting Head of Marketing, Rob Dickie said MAFF accreditation enables CBH Grain, via its Japan office to participate in the MAFF wheat tender process and subsequently import wheat directly into Japan.

"The sale was for 36,060 tonne of MAFF ASW blend wheat, a blend of noodle and premium milling grade wheat, destined for east Japan for August shipment," Mr Dickie said.

"Japan purchases around 900,000 metric tonne (mt) of MAFF ASW from WA every year through a regular tender process conducted by MAFF. Only accredited trading houses are allowed to participate in the wheat tender process."

This common style of tender process is used by many countries and works by multiple accredited bidders submitting their bidding price to a central organisation and the contract being awarded to the business with the most competitive bid.

"Traditionally CBH Grain has joined the regular tender with Japanese trading houses accredited by MAFF to present WA wheat for tender," Mr Dickie said.

"CBH Grain has worked for almost two years to become the first WA grain buyer to become accredited under the MAFF system and now has direct access to offer wheat to the Japanese market through MAFF tenders.

"Achieving this accreditation brings WA wheat growers closer to Japanese end-users and enables CBH Grain to have greater control over the process of selling WA wheat to Japanese consumers.

"This direct link also allows for customer appetite levels to be fed directly back to WA growers through the CBH Grain supply chain."

CBH Grain will continue to participate directly in MAFF wheat tenders when appropriate but has the option to work with its current Japanese trading houses when the requirement arises and will continue to engage in those long term relationships where it adds values to WA growers.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

[Close]
15 JuneFirst CBH train on the tracks

The CBH Group's first train, consisting of two new locomotives and a string of new wagons, hit the tracks today to start carting grain in the Albany zone.

CBH Group General Manager Colin Tutt said CBH 001: Yilliminning and CBH 002: Mooterdine led 60 new narrow gauge wagons to Hyden to commence loading grain and carting tonnes to port.

"This is a truly historic moment for Western Australian growers and the CBH Group.  Having our first train on the tracks is a landmark," he said. 

"Changing the status quo isn't easy and we've come up against our fair share of sceptics. But to see it out there is so rewarding and inspiring.

"We hope as many growers and staff in the area can catch a glimpse as it moves through the Great Southern over the next few weeks. I am sure that they will feel as proud as I do when they see their trains. It just goes to show what a co-operative can do, bring to life great and bold ideas."

Watco WA Rail has been moving grain in the CBH Group's new wagons using leased locomotives since April but today marks the inaugural 'CBH train'; complete with brand new state of the art locomotives.

"Watco train drivers are very excited about these new locomotives. They are far more comfortable and modern than what has been available in WA for many years," Mr Tutt said.

The two working locomotives are 2700 horsepower narrow gauge and feature dynamic braking and distributed power. 

"Distributed power makes the engine more efficient and allows us a faster turnaround time at site, while dynamic braking gives us better fuel efficiency. The locomotives also meet the highest environmental standards, achieving the US tier 3 emission standards.

The next eight locomotives in the fleet are planned to reach Western Australia by the end of July with the remaining not far behind. 

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

[Close]
12 JuneUS Ambassador visits CBH’s locomotive

United States Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich and United States Consul General Aleisha Woodward visited the locomotive commissioning site today to view the second of 22 locomotives from the CBH Group's new rail fleet.

CBH Group General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said he was delighted to show the Ambassador the outcome of a powerful partnership between the CBH Group and Watco WA Rail.

"We are very proud of what we've achieved so far in building a partnership with Watco as our new rail operator and manufacturing the most modern efficient locomotives to cart grain in the nation. It's a pleasure to show them off," he said.

"The first two of our locomotives have landed in WA with another four on the water sailing towards Fremantle, four travelling across the US ready for shipping and the rest not far behind. They are coming thick and fast now."

Watco WA Rail Chief Operating Officer Jim Griffiths said there was now a strong bond between the growers of Western Australia and his company's rail industry roots in the United States.

"We've been working with CBH to build the best foundation for a renewal of the rail industry here and how we can better serve grain growers, by moving their produce to port more efficiently than ever before," he said.

The US Ambassador and Consul General took a tour of the locomotive and inspected the final commissioning works being completed by Gemco Rail at its facility in Forrestfield. They also got to speak with MotivePower staff who had traveled from the US to assist with the new locomotives' commissioning.

US based MotivePower won the CBH Group's tender to manufacture 22 new narrow and standard gauge locomotives. 

The first CBH train, comprising of the first new locomotive and a set of its new wagons, is planned to take to the tracks later this week.                                                                                                                   

Background:

CBH Group

The CBH Group is a Western Australian farmer owned co-operative controlled by over 4,500 grower-shareholders who plant and harvest grain grown across the 320,000 square kilometres that comprise the Western Australian grain belt.

Established in 1933 and now incorporating grain storage, handling, transport, shipping, marketing and processing, the CBH Group has developed into one of Australia's leading grain business with total assets in excess of $1.5 billion and annual revenue of almost $2 billion.

Its total grain storage capacity is in excess of 20 million tonnes and handles the Western Australian harvest, averaging 10-12 million tonnes annually and of which around 95 per cent is exported. A key component of this export task is the rail transport and logistics of moving grain from CBH's 192 country receival sites to its four export terminals.

During 2010 the CBH Group tendered its rail transport contract for the first time, with an aim to develop a new, long term arrangement for above-rail operations that delivers an efficient, effective grain transport and logistics service to Western Australian grain growers. 

It also invested $175 million to purchase 22 new locomotives (built by Motive Power Industries) and 574 new wagons (built by Bradken).

 More information on the CBH Group can be found at www.cbh.com.au

Watco WA Rail

Watco WA Rail is the CBH Group's new above-rail operator.  It will provide a comprehensive rail logistics service including train planning and scheduling, tracking, maintenance and inventory control.

Watco WA Rail has been in existence for just 12 months and has grown to around 95 staff.

Watco WA Rail has a culture driven by customer service.  Like its parent, the US based Watco Companies Inc, Watco WA Rail's focus is to put the 'customer first'.

Watco Companies Inc (WCI) is a Pittsburg, Kansas, based transport company consisting of three main divisions: transportation, mechanical and transload/intermodal. WCI is the owner of Watco Transportation Services, Inc. (WTS), one of the largest short line railroad companies in the U.S. operating 22 short lines on more than 3,500 miles of track throughout the United States.

It was formed in 1983 from the vision of Dick Webb to create a rail services company that could align its interests with the customer in order to best create value over a long term basis.

More information about Watco and its subsidiaries can be found at www.watcocompanies.com.

MotivePower Industries

MotivePower won the CBH Group's tender to build 22 new locomotives.  MotivePower is an industry leader in the design, manufacture and re-manufacture of diesel-electric locomotives for the freight rail and passenger transit markets.  Since 1972, the company has delivered more than 2,500 locomotives from its Boise, Idaho facilities.  MotivePower is a subsidiary of Wabtec Corporation. 

Based in the U.S., Wabtec Corporation is a global provider of value-added, technology-based products and services for rail and other industrial markets. Through its subsidiaries, the company manufactures a range of products for locomotives, freight cars and passenger transit vehicles.

The company also builds and overhauls locomotives, and provides aftermarket services.  With roots to 1869, Wabtec is a publicly traded company in the U.S. (NYSE: WAB), and its year-end stock price has increased for 10 consecutive years. 

The company has annual sales exceeding $1.5 billion and facilities located throughout the world, including operations in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.

More information on the MotivePower and Webtec can be found at www.motivepower-wabtec.com or www.wabtec.com

Gemco Rail

Since its incorporation, Gemco Rail has grown from a West Australian Wagon wheel set and bogie repair contractor, to a vertically integrated national provider of rollingstock maintenance, rollingstock manufacture, supplier of rollingstock components and rail maintenance equipment and undertakes bearing refurbishment through its subsidiary company Railway Bearing Refurbishment Services (RBRS).

In 2010 Gemco Rail became part of the Engenco group of companies and was listed on the ASX (EGN). The Gemco Rail group is made up of Momentum Rail a labour hire and rail Infrastructure Company, CERT a registerd training organisation that is our railway training provider and Greentrains a locomotive leasing company.

Today Gemco rail boasts one of the most modern and efficient rollingstock maintenance facilities within Australia, employing around 270 full time staff across 5 states.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

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07 JuneHMMS scheme delivers $140,000 donation to charities

CBH Group has presented six charitable organisations with a total of $140,000 in sale proceeds from grain forfeited under the 2011-12 Harvest Mass Management Scheme (HMMS).

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer Andy Crane and Chairman Neil Wandel presented the cheques at Ronald McDonald House in Subiaco today.

The HMMS scheme was developed by CBH in conjunction with Main Roads Western Australia.

It is designed to ensure trucks are not loaded beyond safe levels while allowing a small tolerance for the unpredictable weight of grain volumes from one season to the next and one paddock to the next.

Dr Crane said a little over 700 tonnes of grain were forfeited by our grower members last harvest under the scheme, raising a total of $140,000 and considering this value has come from our growers and our role as a co-operative to support our community it was important that this be distributed to charitable organisations that have a real focus on rural WA.

"Based on recommendations from CBH employees, six organisations were selected because of their important role in helping rural communities and families," he said.

The charities are: 

  • Royal Flying Doctor Service - providing emergency medical care to anyone who lives, works or travels in remote and rural Australia;
  • Ronald McDonald House - providing accommodation and support for families of country children receiving treatment for serious illnesses at Princess Margaret Hospital;
  • St John Ambulance - funds will go towards providing life-saving defibrillator units in rural centres which need them;
  • Cancer Council of WA's Milroy Lodge and Crawford Lodge - providing accommodation for country people whose families are receiving treatment for serious illnesses at Perth hospitals;
  • Breast Cancer Care WA - providing emotional, practical and financial support and care to those affected by breast cancer; and
  • Compassionate Friends WA - providing support to families throughout Western Australia who are grieving the death of a child of any age from any cause.

Mr Wandel said that while no grower likes to see any of their grain forfeited it makes it just that bit easier knowing that the proceeds will be going to support organisations which enrich the lives of rural Western Australians by providing better access to services and facilities taken for granted in larger regions and cities.

"It was heart-warming to receive the nominations for the charities from CBH employees and hear the stories behind them and learn of the assistance each one of these charities has offered someone from our co-operative at a time in their lives when they needed help the most," Mr Wandel said.

"Each one of the charities recognised here today has made a difference in the life of at least one of our employees, growers or regional communities and we are proud to be able to recognise their hard work and show our support so that they can continue to offer assistance and support to those in need."

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

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07 JuneCrop estimates needed for vital planning

The CBH Group is calling on growers to assist in vital harvest planning by providing their crop estimates for the 2012-13 season.

The record breaking 15 million tonne harvest delivered in 2011-12 highlighted the importance of grower's crop estimates in order to help CBH Operations plan the services at local bins.

Growers who complete their crop estimates by July 6 will also be in the running to win a trip for two people to Singapore, staying in a five-star resort for five nights.

CBH Operations Manager Max Johnson said that without understanding what is being grown in each area, CBH can't make the best decisions about what services to offer at each site.

"It's very much like a reservation system at a hotel; if they don't know you're coming how can they make room for you?" Mr Johnson said.

"It is vital that we get that estimate information so we can provide the service that growers expect when they arrive at their local site. 

"We've had many examples in the past where estimates haven't been returned to us and we have therefore been unaware of additional volumes delivered to particular sites. As a result, significant additional cost has been borne by other growers, who have returned their estimates, who have had to cart further to access the services that they need.

"I can't emphasise enough how much our planning depends on the information that growers provide us on the estimate forms. I encourage all growers to please take the time to do theirs this year."

Growers have the option of completing a paper form that will be sent to them or entering their details online through LoadNet®.

Those growers who don't have access to LoadNet®, need further information or require assistance with submitting their crop estimate forms, should call the CBH Group Grower Service Centre on 1800 199 083.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

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May

25 MayCBH Grain and Plum Grove extend Pool Management Agreement

CBH Grain and Plum Grove are pleased to announce an extension to the Pool Management Agreement for an additional five seasons.

Under the agreement, CBH Grain and Plum Grove will continue to jointly offer the Managed Pool and Protection Plus products. Both organisations will also continue to offer their own separate harvest pool products.

CBH Grain's Head of Accumulations, Richard Simonaitis, said renewing the agreement with Plum Grove aligns with the CBH Group's key objective of creating and returning value to the growers of Western Australia.

"The relationship with Plum Grove allows WA growers the ability to diversify their marketing program, access the unique skill sets of two different organisations and provide the scale to enable the market development activities that CBH Grain have been undertaking in the interests of WA growers for over 80 years," he said.

Plum Grove's Managing Director, Andrew Young, said the success of the relationship can be evidenced in the independent Kondinin Group Wheat Pools Performance report.

"Either of the jointly managed products, the Plum Grove Harvest Pool or the CBH Grain Harvest Pool have earned a rating by Kondinin as a best pool provider in the last six seasons," Mr Young said.

Under the agreement all physical wheat sales and payments to growers for the Managed Pool, Protection Plus Pool and the Plum Grove Harvest Pool are managed by CBH Grain.

For the Jointly Managed Pools, the foreign exchange and derivative hedging decisions are made jointly by CBH Grain and Plum Grove.

For the Plum Grove Harvest Pool the hedging decisions are made exclusively by Plum Grove.

Growers are reminded that the Managed Pool is currently open for contracting and will close on May 31 or sooner if required volumes are achieved.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

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18 MayCBH Group continues its support of country hockey

As part of its longstanding support for rural communities, CBH Group has signed a new two-year sponsorship agreement with Hockey WA which will mark a decade of partnership.

CBH's sponsorship will contribute to the development and running of country hockey, including the 2012 CBH Group Men's Country Championships (2-4 June) and the 2012 CBH Group Women's Country Championships (22-24 June).

CBH Group Chairman, Neil Wandel, said CBH is pleased to continue its sponsorship of Hockey WA.

"For many regional families hockey plays a large role in the winter sporting calendar," Mr Wandel said.

"CBH's role is not only to provide the best value grain storage, handling and marketing services to our grower members, we are also committed to improving the health, wellbeing and lifestyle of people living in rural areas and the sustainability of rural communities. Sport brings us together and is a key factor in growing healthy rural communities."

Hockey WA Chief Executive Officer Kevin Knapp said Hockey WA caters for men, women and juniors including school programs, senior levels, social, veteran and elite grades.

"The CBH Group sponsorship will continue to help promote and enhance the popular game in country areas. Without the generous, ongoing support of organisations such as the CBH Group, Hockey WA would not survive," Mr Knapp said.

"The CBH Group's continued support means we can continue to provide our young players with the opportunity to develop their skills or create a path for someone to follow their dream of playing at the elite level of the sport they love."

Around 10,000 people play hockey in regional teams and playing local WA country hockey has paved the way for many international players. They include Bevan George (Cuballing); Ian Burcher (Albany); Fergus Kavanagh (Geraldton); and Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin) Shelley Liddelow (South West), Kobie McGurk (Collie), Jayde Taylor (Bunbury).

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

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14 MayCBH Group’s first locomotive has arrived

The CBH Group's first locomotive arrived in Fremantle today after a seven week journey from the east coast of the United States. 

CBH General Manager Operations, Colin Tutt, said the arrival of the first locomotive is a special moment in history for CBH and the grains industry in Western Australia.

"These engines are at the heart of driving a better deal for our growers. They provide the power to revitalise the way grain is transported by rail in Western Australia," he said.

"They will be the most modern and efficient locomotives moving grain in Australia today. This is the first time in more than three decades that new trains have arrived in this state with the sole purpose of moving grain.

"Growers will instantly be able to identify them as their own and I just know that when they see this impressive engine they will feel a great amount of pride. As they should feel proud that their cooperative is able to embark on bold initiatives which make our industry more competitive and shift value back to growers."

CBH 001: Yilliminning is the first of 22 new locomotives to make the journey. It is a 2700 horsepower narrow gauge locomotive and was named by a WA grower in the CBH Group's train naming competition late last year.

The second locomotive, CBH 002: Mooterdine is not far behind; it is in transit sailing towards WA. The remaining locomotives are at various stages of manufacture but WA growers will see the engines arriving every few weeks from now until September.

CBH 001: Yilliminning will have the final commissioning works completed locally and be on the tracks mid-June.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

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11 MayNominations open to join CBH Growers Advisory Council

The CBH Group is calling on all grain growers across Western Australia to consider nominating for a position on the Growers Advisory Council (GAC).

The Growers Advisory Council was established by the CBH Group in 2003 to help facilitate communication between the CBH Board and growers at the grass roots level. 

Council positions for both two and three year terms are now open and all grower members or member's representatives are invited to nominate for a position.

Following a recent review of the structure and function of the GAC, the term of Councillors will remain at 3 years but will be staggered through the 2012 selection process so that approximately 30% of Councillors are up for nomination each year.

CBH Group Chairman, Neil Wandel, said the Growers Advisory Council makes a valuable contribution to the Group and over the last nine years has assisted CBH to continually improve its services and better represent Western Australian growers.

"We are again looking for growers who have a genuine desire and commitment to see the CBH Group continue to grow and develop for the benefit of our growers," Mr Wandel said.

"This is a great opportunity for growers to demonstrate their passion and help shape the future of their industry and their company and I strongly encourage growers of all ages, agricultural interests and grain growing locations to get involved and make a difference."

Growers interested in becoming a member of the GAC are required to provide a written application outlining their relevant skills, experience and general suitability for appointment to the Council, taking into consideration the selection criteria. A minimum of five member referees must also accompany each candidate's application.

Successful candidates will be selected by a panel consisting of grower Directors and the existing GAC Chairman, Andrew Crook. 

Nominations close 12 noon, Thursday 31 May 2012. A copy of the selection criteria and further details for application are available online at www.cbh.com.au or by contacting Karlie Mucjanko on 9237 9728.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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11 MayCBH teams up again with country footy

The CBH Group will complete a decade of partnership with the West Australian Country Football League (WACFL) in 2012 after renewing its sponsorship for the new season.

CBH Group Chairman, Neil Wandel, said Australia's leading co-operative was pleased to contribute another $40,000 to the WACFL, bringing to nearly $350,000 the contribution it has made to the development of grass roots footy.

The CBH Group sponsorship contributes generally to the running of the country competition, which includes 13 leagues, 82 football clubs and 188 football teams in Western Australian grainbelt communities.

In addition, CBH supports the WACFL State Colts team and the CBH Colts All-Stars and has specific partnerships with Eastern Districts Football League, Central Midlands Coastal Football League, North Midlands Football League, Esperance Districts Football Association and Upper Great Southern Football League.

"Our aim is to help support country footy every week of every season," Mr Wandel said.

"CBH's core role is to provide best value grain storage, handling and marketing services to grain growers but we are also committed to the health, wellbeing and lifestyle of people living and working in rural areas and to the sustainability of rural communities. Sport brings us together and is a key factor in growing healthy rural communities."

The 2012 AFL season is proving to be a successful one for WA country football with 65 players from country clubs across the state now listed with AFL sides.

Players such as Lance "Buddy" Franklin (Hawthorn), Darren Glass (West Coast Eagles) and Aaron Sandilands (Fremantle Dockers) have all come from the grass roots level of country football in regional areas.

WACFL General Manager, Cameron Knapton said football plays a major role in bringing together the people and communities of rural Western Australia.

"Football has always had a strong following and participation rate in rural areas and this sponsorship will continue to help promote and enhance the game of football for people living in country areas," Mr Knapton said.

"The continued support from the CBH Group will help to provide our young players with the opportunity to develop their skills and create a path for some young kids to follow their dream of playing at the top levels of a sport they love," Mr Knapton said.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

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01 MayCBH Group - Watco rail agreement commences today

The CBH Group's 10 year above-rail agreement with Watco WA Rail officially begins today.

CBH Group General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said that the partnership has already moved over 83,000 tonnes of grain to port in the four weeks prior to the agreement officially commencing.

"Today is the beginning of a strong partnership built on a mutual ambition to get the most out of the rail system for Western Australian growers.  Already being out there on the tracks is testament to our commitment to delivering value to our growers," he said.

"Watco WA Rail has a culture driven by customer service and like its parent, the US based Watco Companies Inc, Watco WA Rail's focus is to put the customer first. 

"This culture, along with innovation, is just what is needed in the grain rail industry and it is what will deliver us significant productivity efficiencies over the coming years of our partnership.

"Couple together the efficiencies that will be delivered by our new rolling stock with the efficiencies that our new above-rail operator can bring to the rail environment, and Western Australian growers can expect more tonnes to port at lower freight rates.

"Our partnership will help to shape a more competitive and sustainable grain industry in WA."

Watco WA Rail will provide a comprehensive rail logistics service to the CBH Group including train planning and scheduling, tracking, maintenance and inventory control.

Watco WA Rail Chief Operating Officer Jim Griffiths said that his team was ready to go.

"Today marks the date where the risk and the hard yards begin to pay dividends to WA growers," he said.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820                

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April

24 AprilCBH Group appoints new CBH Grain General Manager

The CBH Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Jason Craig to the position of General Manager, CBH Grain, the CBH Group's grain marketing, accumulation and trading division. 

Mr Craig joins the CBH Group from CBH's joint venture business Interflour, where he currently holds the position of President Director of PT Eastern Pearl Flour Mills (EPFM), the fifth largest flour milling business in the world and the second largest in Indonesia. 

Prior to this, Mr Craig was the Trading Manager, Proteins, Oilseeds and Oats with the Grain Pool of WA (now known as CBH Grain). 

 CBH Group Chief Executive Officer Dr Andy Crane said Mr Craig brought significant grain trading experience in the domestic and international markets across various commodities to the role and a long-standing relationship with Western Australian growers.

"Mr Craig spent many years marketing and trading grain on behalf of WA growers during his time with the Grain Pool of WA so he is well known to many of our growers and customers," Dr Crane said.

"He has extensive experience in managing both trading and pooling products and a strong commodity and financial background.

"During his time overseas he has gained unique insight as a customer and processor of WA grain.  This will undoubtedly benefit CBH Grain's understanding of customer requirements.

"We look forward to Mr Craig joining us and focusing CBH Grain on creating and returning value to our growers through strong customer relationships in key markets and competitive grain pricing and products."

Mr Craig holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Investment & Finance from the Securities Institute of Australia (Treasury Stream) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Banking & Finance) from Curtin University, Western Australia.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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19 April2011-12 wheat and barley pool first distributions paid

CBH Grain is pleased to confirm that the first distribution payment for the 2011-12 wheat and barley Harvest Pools has been made to participating growers.

The wheat payment was made on Thursday 5 April and barley on Friday 13 April with a total of $96 million being credited to Harvest Loan accounts or paid to growers who delivered to the Distribution payment method.

CBH Grain Senior Regional Manager Henry Carracher said the wheat pool is progressing well in its sales program and to date has been achieving its basis targets on all physical sales.

"The volume under management will result in the pool remaining open for its full life span with a projected closure date of March 2013, "Mr Carracher said.

"The grade composition of the pool will provide challenges as the crop profile remains heavily skewed towards APW base grade and these tonnes will have to compete to find a market."

"The recent softening of the Australian Dollar has proven a good opportunity for pool management to increase currency cover.

"The futures market has experienced continued volatility with Chicago wheat futures trading a 60 cent range between 612 and 673 cents per bushel since the beginning of March. This has created challenges in achieving target hedge levels.

"A relatively benign 31 March USDA report still resulted in a 17 cent drop in futures as wheat followed corn and beans downwards. This is indicative of the market's weariness of excess supply in the Northern Hemisphere.

"The view remains neutral to bearish, with an adverse Northern Hemisphere weather event being the only impetus for Chicago futures to break out of its existing range. Although the equity is supported at present, market fundamentals would indicate further downward revisions are a possibility."

 Payment details for some grades of wheat and barley are listed in the table below.

WHEAT

 

 

Grade

April Payment

Estimated Pool Return

SA

 

 

H1

$55.10

$290.00

H2

$53.20

$280.00

APW1

$47.50

$250.00

ASW1

$45.60

$240.00

AGP1

$43.70

$230.00

FED1

$41.80

$220.00

VIC

 

 

H1

$53.20

$280.00

H2

$51.30

$270.00

APW1

$45.60

$240.00

ASW1

$43.70

$230.00

AGP1

$41.80

$220.00

FED1

$39.90

$210.00

NSW/QLD

 

 

H1

$53.20

$280.00

H2

$51.30

$270.00

APW1

$45.60

$240.00

ASW1

$43.70

$230.00

AGP1

$41.80

$220.00

FED1

$39.90

$210.00

APH1

$58.90

$310.00

APH2

$57.95

$305.00

BARLEY

GA1

$60.00

$240.00

F1

$58.75

$235.00

  For  more  information  regarding  pool  payments contact  your  local  CBH  Grain   Regional Manager or our  Grower  Service Centre on  1800 107 759.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9541

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13 AprilCBH moves to full ownership of DailyGrain

CBH Group has announced it will acquire the remaining 50 per cent share of on-line grain price discovery and management service DailyGrain®.

DailyGrain is a Western Australian based company, developed in 2007 by the owners of Plum Grove. It is a paid membership, on-line service that compares marketers' live prices for grain every working day throughout the year. 

In May 2009 CBH Group bought a 50 percent stake in DailyGrain with the aim of extending the service to a broader audience and utilising opportunities that existed to link the tool to CBH Group's LoadNet. LoadNet is an online system that allows growers to track all their deliveries into the CBH storage and handling network and nominate grain to buyers. 

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Crane said the partnership with DailyGrain has been very successful with several levels of service now on offer.  This has led to over 4,000 growers currently receiving at least one of DailyGrain's price discovery services, a significant increase from just under 1000 growers prior to the purchase. 

"DailyGrain provides a valuable service in arming its users with the right information to make better decisions for their businesses," Dr Crane said. "As such, it has many synergies with the CBH Group which is also focussed on assisting WA growers to enhance the value of their grain."

"With the introduction of Quality Optimisation by CBH last year, which enabled growers to blend grain on-line after delivery rather than physically on farm, further opportunities have arisen to integrate our product offering with DailyGrain. For example, DailyGrain offers a contract optimisation service which is a natural fit to integrate with and enhance our quality optimisation tool LoadNet Optimiser. 

"CBH has decided to exercise our option to acquire the remaining 50 per cent of DailyGrain so that we can really pursue the exciting potential of fully integrating our systems for the benefit of growers.  

"After three years of partnership, we believe growers, their advisors and marketers can have full confidence that DailyGrain will continue to provide the best price management service in the market." 

DailyGrain Independent Director Nathan Omodei says the business will operate as a separate subsidiary of CBH, continue to be governed by an experienced board with independent directors and remain an innovative, user-driven business. 

"DailyGrain's growth and success has relied on us treating all marketers equally and providing completely objective grain price information to growers and farm advisers and that will continue," Mr Omodei said. 

"DailyGrain will continue to offer its current suite of membership services with full membership discounted at $350 per annum and DailyGrain Intro membership free of charge for CBH members."

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05 AprilFirst locomotive bound for WA

The first of CBH Group's new locomotives has been loaded onto a ship in Savannah on the east coast of the United States and is about to begin the voyage to Western Australia, which is expected to take about seven weeks.

Locomotive number 001 is the first of 22 new locomotives to make the journey. It is a 2700 horsepower narrow gauge locomotive and was named by a Western Australian grower in the CBH Group's train naming competition late last year.

The 'Yilliminning' will touch Western Australian soil in May and be out to work the Wheatbelt track mid-year.

CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said the shipment of the first locomotive is an exciting step in the process towards CBH owning its first rail fleet.

"We can't wait to get our locomotives out onto the track.  They have state-of-the-art technology and across the fleet we'll have more horsepower than currently.  With more grunt behind our trains we can achieve faster journeys to port and faster turnaround times at sites," he said.

"The locomotives have distributed power which means they can push and pull, allowing us to operate more efficiently and be far more productive.  This coupled with our new aluminium wagons will revitalise rail in Western Australia.

"We witnessed loading and discharge efficiencies that exceeded our expectations last week when we ran our first train with Watco WA Rail operating a leased locomotive to pull 50 our new wagons. 

"We will go from strength to strength this year as each train is commissioned and growers see more tonnes moving to port more efficiently."

The second locomotive is complete and will be shipped in the coming weeks with the remaining locomotives are at various stages of manufacture but all tracking well against project schedules.

Click here  for an image of the locomotive.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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04 AprilNew Deputy Chairman for CBH Group

The CBH Group today announced a new Deputy Chairman of the Board, Clancy Michael. 

Mr Michael replaces Wally Newman, who has been Deputy Chairman since May 2008 and will remain on the Board as one of two member-elected Directors for District 4. 

Mr Newman said he had chosen not to renominate for the position as, after four years, it was an appropriate time to provide the opportunity for another Director to take on the Deputy Chairman role. Neil Wandel continues as Chairman of the CBH Board. 

Mr Michael was elected to the Board of CBH in 2008, is a member of the Board's Audit and Risk Management Committee, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Additionally Mr Michael is the current Chairman of the Grower Group Alliance, an organisation set up to develop effective information channels between farmer groups and research organisations.   Mr Michael has farmed in the Midwest for more than 30 years and continues to farm at Mingenew today. 

Mr Wandel thanked Mr Newman for his support and valuable contribution to CBH in the role of Deputy Chairman. 

"In particular, Wally has long been a champion of the co-operative business model and played a significant role in the Board's decision last year to remain a co-operative with a modernised constitution that will enable us to return value to growers in the way they value most," Mr Wandel said. 

"As a result of the decision to remain a cooperative, CBH is now uniquely positioned to maintain its strong, grower-focus in a very dynamic and competitive environment and I look forward to continuing to work with Wally, our new Deputy Chairman, and the rest of the Board to consolidate and build on this position."        

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820                                

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March

30 MarchCBH’s new rail arrangements commence early

The CBH Group and Watco WA Rail consummated their new partnership today, running their first train from Merredin to the Kwinana Terminal, four weeks earlier than expected.

Watco WA Rail operated a leased locomotive to haul 50 of the CBH Group's new aluminium wagons carrying more than 3500 tonnes of wheat.

CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said this was a huge accomplishment for both businesses and an enormous amount of work had gone into making the first journey happen within extremely tight timeframes.

"We are delighted to see our first train moving grain on behalf of WA growers," he said. 

The CBH Group has leased a small number of locomotives including two from CFCL Australia, a subsidiary of Chicago Freight Car Leasing Company, to pull its wagons while it transitions to its own full fleet for harvest 2012/13. 

"Delivery schedules for all of our rolling stock are on track with our initial plans.  We will have the leased locomotives running for us over the next six months to help out with the transition," said Mr Tutt. 

"Leasing locomotives allows us to start using our wagons earlier than when our own locomotives are to be delivered and get the most from our new partnership with Watco WA Rail.  

"Given the record harvest just gone and the need to get better performance from rail to meet our export task, we pushed hard to get on the tracks earlier than the original 1 May commencement date.

"We are ready, willing and able to get out there and provide more capacity on rail."

Watco WA Rail Chief Operating Officer Jim Griffiths said the rail company has advanced the grain haul start-up by 32 days to help CBH get tonnes to port.

"The support of our number one customer, CBH, and the grain growers of WA in this key transportation initiative has been overwhelming," he said.

The CBH Group awarded its 10-year above-rail contract to Watco WA Rail in late 2010.  The contract is officially to commence on 1 May 2012.  It has also invested $175 million in purchasing its own fleet of locomotives and wagons. 

The first of the 22 locomotives is on its way to Western Australia from the USA with the remaining 21 not far behind, and of the 574 wagons, 128 standard gauge wagons are on WA soil.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
26 MarchCBH announces guidance on future barley segregations

CBH Group has announced its segregation plans for barley varieties over the next two harvests based on current market demand, with some restrictions on malt services for Vlamingh, Stirling and Hamelin.

The announcement was made at the recent Grain Industry of Western Australia Barley Council meeting in order to provide clear direction for growers and marketers ahead of seeding.

CBH General Manager Operations, Colin Tutt, said the announcement reflects an internal review of barley segregations offered during the last four harvests with the knowledge a number of new malt varieties are coming on stream over the next few years.

"The recent record harvest highlighted space challenges and operationally we cannot continue to offer as many choices for barley without compromising throughput efficiency for other varieties which provide greater value to growers," Mr Tutt said.

"For malt, we are looking to limit Malt 2 segregations to the varieties in greatest demand.  These are Baudin, Buloke and Gairdner. Malt 2 will only to be introduced for Baudin, Buloke and Gairdner if seasonal conditions warrant it."

In relation to other current malt varieties Mr Tutt said that for the 2012-13 harvest Vlamingh, Stirling and Hamelin will only be offered as Malt 1.

"Given the dwindling production of Stirling and Hamelin we will stop offering common malt services for these two varieties from the 2013-14 harvest. In the case of Stirling and its speciality use for shochu, there is still an opportunity for niche segregations if markets wish to support them," he said.

"Our intention in flagging no malt services for Stirling and Hamelin for 2013-14 harvest is to allow planning to start for new varieties like Bass and Commander." 

Mr Tutt said in relation to the Hindmarsh variety, CBH was treating it as feed since the food grade it is classified by Barley Australia is not segregated in Western Australia.

""However, if marketers believe there is a selling opportunity for Hindmarsh they can contact CBH to discuss niche segregation," Mr Tutt said.

"Niche segregations, as opposed to common services, need to be pre-arranged and incur additional charges."

Malting barley services for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 harvests

Yes= offered as common service

IR = seasonal only introduced if required

No = not offered as common service but niche service on request

Variety

2012/13 harvest

2013/14 harvest

Malt 1

Malt2

Malt 1

Malt 2

Baudin

Yes

IR

Yes

IR

Buloke

Yes

IR

Yes

IR

Gairdner

Yes

IR

Yes

IR

Vlamingh

Yes

NO

Yes

NO

Stirling

Yes

NO

NO

NO

Hamelin

Yes

NO

NO

NO

Bass(*)

NO

NO

NO

NO

Commander

NO

NO

NO

NO

Hindmarsh(~)

NO

NO

NO

NO

 

Bass(*) = Yet to be classified by Barley Australia as a malt variety

Hindmarsh(~) = not a classified malt variety.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820                                                 

[Close]
14 MarchCBH takes to the road to visit growers

The CBH Group will soon be undertaking a series of meetings across the Wheatbelt to update grower members on important developments at the co-operative including investment in rail assets and network infrastructure, Quality Optimisation, market outlook and corporate strategy for 2012 and Grain Express.

Chief Executive Officer Andy Crane said growers and their families should have now received invitations to the meetings and he encouraged all to attend.

Dr Crane will join Chairman Neil Wandel, General Manager Operations, Colin Tutt and Acting General Manager CBH Grain, Bryce Banfield in hosting the meetings.

"There are several major initiatives in progress which will improve the value we return to growers in coming months and years and it is important that growers hear more about these developments before the new season gets underway," Dr Crane said.  

"We want to use the meetings to demonstrate more clearly the specific value the co-operative returns to growers and the measures used to prove this.  I am encouraging growers to come and hear about our grower value return on capital measure.

"As the biggest grain exporter in Western Australia, CBH also believes it is timely to give our members an update on the grain market outlook and our market development activities."

The meetings kick off in Perenjori on Monday, 26 March 2012 and wind up in Borden on Thursday, 19 April 2012.

Below is a full list of venues:

Date

Time

Venue

Mon 26 March

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Perenjori Pavilion

Tues 27 March

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Northampton Community Centre

Thur 29 March

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Wongan Hills Hotel

Thur 12 April

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Esperance Bay Yacht Club

Mon 16 April

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Merredin Recreation Centre

Tue 17 April

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Corrigin Hotel

Wed 18 April

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Lake Grace Sports Club

Thur 19 April

4:00pm - 6:00pm

Borden Pavilion

 

A sundowner will be held after each meeting from 6pm - 8pm.  All growers and their families are invited to attend for a light dinner and refreshments.

For more information on the meetings and to register their interest growers should contact the Grower Service Centre on 1800 199 083.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
12 MarchCBH sends growers to South East Asia for study tour

CBH Group has provided six Western Australian growers with a unique study tour opportunity to get a first hand understanding of international customer requirements and the co-operative's investments in South East Asia.

The 8-day international study tour which departed Perth on Thursday 8 March and returns 16 March, coincides with the Global Grain Asia 2012 conference in Singapore this week.

The growers are Darren Keeffe from Moora; Jeffrey Stoney from Manypeaks; David Fetherstonhaugh from Esperance; David Preston from Mullewa; Travis Stanley from Kalannie and Russell Inman from Cadoux.

The growers will be travelling with CBH Grain Head of Accumulation Richard Simonaitis; South East Asia Regional Marketing Manager Leith Teakle; Wheat Quality and Technical Manager Natalie Maguire and Director Trent Bartlett.

CBH Group Chairman Neil Wandel said the tour will take in Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore and will include visits to a number of leading CBH Grain customers and their facilities before attending the Global Grain Asia conference.

"The tour is aimed at fostering the link between grain growers and end-user customers and also provide an increased understanding of the flour milling process and quality requirements needed to maximise performance," Mr Wandel said.

"Among the highlights of the trip are tours of the Bogasari Mill and an instant noodle factory in Jakarta; Pundi Flour Mill in Cilegon; and meeting with PT Eastern Pearl Flour Mills officials.

"The tour will also visit Interflour Vietnam's port and mill, part of the Interflour Group, CBH's joint venture with the Salim Group.

"We believe the study tour will strengthen the relationship between the CBH Group, growers and customers and the benefits will flow on to influence the attendees' grain growing operations and the wider community."

The Global Grain Asia conference will be held in Singapore 13-15 March and is referred to as the 'must attend' event for grains and oilseeds trade and industry professionals operating in the Asia Pacific region.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
09 MarchNew Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Audits offered to QA growers

CBH Group's Quality Assurance growers will soon have access to a new service which will allow Western Australian Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Audits to be completed by CBH staff at the same time as on farm Quality Audits.

The new service will be made available from April 2012.

CBH Group's Quality Assurance Manager Jodie Kleyweg said in WA, operators of certain types of heavy vehicles must become accredited to gain a permit or notice from Main Roads.

"The Heavy Vehicle Accreditation is mandatory in WA for individuals and organisations that require a permit or notice to perform any transport task as part of a commercial business or for profit within WA," she said.

"Accreditation involves two modules i.e. fatigue and vehicle maintenance, which operators are required to incorporate into their daily work practices.

"At CBH we have recognised that there is a demand from our Quality Assured growers to marry their annual Quality Audit with their Heavy Vehicle requirement into one on farm visit and pursued the ability for CBH staff to perform this important activity."

Kleyweg said the Heavy Vehicle Accreditation ensures a consistent standard of maintenance and condition of the vehicles on WA roads and servicing CBH sites and also improves safety, community confidence, productivity and efficiency whilst reducing vehicle downtime.

Kleyweg said this latest service offering was one of several changes that have occurred with the On Farm Quality Assurance Program (formerly Better Farm IQ) over the last 18 months and would reinforce CBH's dedication to QA growers.

"The consolidation of services will mean growers save time and money having their Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Audit and their Quality Audit done together rather than bringing an independent Main Roads auditor on farm," Ms Kleyweg said.

"The CBH Quality Assurance department has regionally based staff to conduct the new service as well as a number of other incentives that have been established specifically for QA growers."

The QA grower-only initiatives include:

  • Access to on farm sampling units
  • Deferred warehousing
  • Reduced pricing for SOFIA's Infratecs
  • Streamlined QA systems
  • A Reward for Recognition Scheme (two years of good audits with no corrective actions raised, allows you to skip an audit on the third year).

 

If you are interested in having this combined audit please contact your local Quality System Co-ordinator or Jodie Kleyweg on 08 9416 1353.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820 

[Close]
06 MarchCBH Superannuation Fund achieves No.1 ranking

The in-house superannuation fund managed for its employees by Western Australian grain co-operative, CBH Group, has achieved No.1 ranking from the largest 200 Superannuation Funds for its returns over the last five year period.

The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) recently released the statistics for the top 200 APRA regulated superannuation funds in Australia.

The rankings showed CBH Superannuation Fund at No.1 with an average return over the five years to 30 June, 2011 of 7.1%. Then next best ranked fund achieved 5.2%.

CBH Superannuation Fund Chairman, Terry Cunningham, said it was a pleasing result and a major achievement for a small corporate superannuation fund.

"The continuing support of the CBH Group, a dedicated Board of Trustees past and present, the direct investment approach taken by the Fund, the containment of costs and the investment skills and knowledge provided to the Trustee of the fund by the recently retired Fund Secretary Rob Burns and the Fund's Investment Manager, David Hadingham have all contributed to this successful outcome," he said.

"While we are very proud to have been able to deliver this result for members, our continued focus will be on providing superior superannuation retirement and associated benefits to members, with a focus on costs and investment returns."

The CBH Group superannuation fund has 506 members with some $134 million in assets.

If you would like any details about the CBH Superannuation Fund, please contact the Fund Secretary, Donna Adam on 9237 9707.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
02 MarchCBH Grain provides crop quality update for Japanese flour millers

The CBH Grain Wheat and Technical Marketing team have recently returned to Western Australia from an annual crop update in Japan, where they gave a detailed presentation on the technical and quality aspects of the recently harvested crop.

CBH Grain Technical Marketing Manager, Dr Narelle Moore, said that it is extremely important to our customers that they receive a timely quality report accompanied by a detailed presentation to explain and discuss year to year quality differentials. 

"The ability of a flour mill to manage quality fluctuations based on advanced information is highly valued, so these crop updates are extremely well supported," she said.

"This was the fourth consecutive year that CBH Grain has presented this report in Japan. Our technical marketing program gives end-users confidence in our understanding of key aspects of wheat quality from a milling perspective." 

Dr Moore said the 2011-12 harvest has seen an increased availability of ANW, which has given Japanese and Korean end-users a level of comfort in the ability of WA to continue the stable supply of noodle wheat going forward.

"The CBH Grain Technical team focuses on providing end-users with information on the wheat's functional characteristics which are not necessarily reflected in the receival specifications," Dr Moore said.

"Unfortunately the grain this year has low starch quality and low protein, which may cause processing issues in Japan. Importantly, APWN has stood out this year as having superior noodle quality to APW, which will assist in gaining market acceptance.

"This is a great outcome for WA growers as the market-place is sending a signal that WA noodle wheat is of great importance to the Japanese market and they are looking to ensure continued stable supply."

In the wake of CBH Grain's crop updates, the Japanese industry has subsequently confirmed a return to traditional blending ratios, after the proportion of noodle wheat was reduced last year due to drought-affected WA production in 2010.

"This decision gives WA growers and marketers clarity over the supply and demand picture for the 2012-13 crop in what is a key time for deciding cropping programs based on market dynamics," she said.

CBH Grain Head of Marketing, Tom Puddy, said the work with the Japanese government and flour milling industry is an example of CBH Grain's commitment to add value beyond simply trading a commodity.

"CBH Grain differentiates itself from other traders in the noodle wheat market through our focus on the 'non-transactional' aspects of marketing, as is evidenced by the work of our Technical Marketing team with the Japanese flour milling industry," Mr Puddy said.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
02 MarchCBH breaks shipping record in February

Following the record breaking grain harvest of 2011-12, CBH Group has broken the record for the most amount of grain shipped in the month of February with more than 1.29 million tonnes departing Western Australian ports for international markets.

The previous record was set in 2004 with 1.174 million tonnes outturned in the month of February.

This brings the total tonnes shipped since 1 November 2011 to 29 February 2012 to 4.18 million tonnes, second only to our performance in 2004 where 4.2 million tonnes were shipped.

CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said harvest might be all but finished now, however, the busy times are continuing for the entire CBH team as it works to move the grain to ports to meet exporter demand.

"The 2011-12 harvest has been one of the most challenging on record with rain delays, quality issues and under performing rail resulting in difficulty moving grain to port, but despite this the CBH Group supported by the Western Australian supply chain and Grain Express model were able to overcome the harvest adversities and get the tonnes to port to produce the largest February shipping calendar," he said.

"Our performance in WA compares favourably with Eastern Australia which is facing significant challenges in grain transport. Whilst we faced diverse issues this harvest, our bundled storage, handling and transport service Grain Express enabled efficiencies and provided confidence and reliability for the industry.

"It is a great achievement to break the record and we would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to our growers, employees, transporters, shires, local communities and everyone else who has helped to get this grain to port.

Shipping outturned by Zone for the month of February is as follows (all listed as approximates tonnes):

Geraldton                                                           316,000

Kwinana                                                            555,000

Albany                                                                261,000

Esperance                                                         156,000

Total shipping outturned for the state      1,290,000

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820 

[Close]
02 MarchFirst locomotives come off the production line

The first of CBH Group's new locomotives has rolled off the production line in Boise, Idaho in the United States.

CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said this was the first of 22 new locomotives commissioned by CBH Group as part of a $175 million investment in revitalising Western Australia's ageing rail assets.

"The completion of the first locomotive is an exciting step in the process towards CBH owning its first rail fleet. Having been in Boise to witness this momentous occasion I can confirm the locomotives are of the latest designs and technology and will deliver a great deal of value back to WA growers," Mr Tutt said. 

"The locomotive will begin its inland transport leg across mainland US to the east coast for shipping. The voyage will take about seven weeks and we expect the new locomotive to arrive in Western Australia in mid-May.

"Our decision to invest in new rail infrastructure is another way we are providing real value to our grower members and we are confident that our acquisition of 22 new locomotives and 574 new wagons will deliver further real reductions in freight rates to port, minimising the cost of getting your grain to market."

Mr Tutt described how the fleet includes standard and narrow gauge locomotives, with half the fleet comprising 2700 horsepower engines and the other half 3300 horsepower engines, which is much greater than the current fleet.

"With more horsepower behind our trains we can achieve faster journeys to port and faster turnaround times at sites," he said.

"The locomotives also have distributed power which means they can push and pull, allowing us to operate more efficiently and be far more productive.

"They are also Tier 2 US emissions standard compliant which gives better fuel efficiency and meets the highest environmental standards."

Last month the first 50 new wagons arrived in WA with another shipment of wagons due for mid-March.

Images of the locomotives are available.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]

February

29 FebruaryCBH Grain closes all No.1 wheat pools

CBH Grain has now closed all 2011-12 wheat harvest pools in Western Australia to enable marketing plans to be consolidated and ensure the value for growers is maximised.

The final wheat harvest pools closed in Kwinana, Albany and Esperance on Friday 24 February 2012.

The current Estimated Pool Return (EPR) for APW2 is $265 per tonne.

CBH Grain Head of Accumulations Richard Simonaitis said CBH Grain will open a No. 2 harvest pool with an opening EPR of $240 per tonne with the estimate reflecting the current market environment. 

"The market is awaiting confirmation of what impact Northern Hemisphere supply will have on an already burdensome balance sheet," Mr Simonaitis said.

"A strong AUD is also causing concern and impacting the return to growers."

The lupin harvest pool closed on Tuesday 14 February 2012 with a current EPR of $235 per tonne.

The barley harvest pools closed Friday 17 February 2012 with current estimates at $265 per tonne for Baudin malting barley and $250 per tonne for feed barley.

According to Mr Simonaitis, the barley pools have been well supported by growers and estimated pool returns have remained steady since December 2011.

The canola harvest pool closed Friday 3 February 2012 and is positioned well with current equity of $558 per tonne for CAN1.

"Growers are reminded for future seasons that the risk of pool closures can be managed by utilising CBH Grain's Guaranteed Access Contract to secure tonnages into any No.1 harvest pool," he said.

"Updates on the pools performance and payments will be available throughout the marketing year via CBH Grain's quarterly Pool Talk newsletters.

"We would like to thank participating growers for their commitment to the 2011-12 harvest pools this season.  As the only WA marketer with grower value as its primary objective, CBH Grain is committed to protecting pools participants and maximising returns to growers.

Media Contact:        Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
29 FebruaryCBH Grain wheat and barley pools close in South Australia

All CBH Grain 2011-12 No.1 wheat pools across Australia have now closed after South Australia closed its wheat and barley pools on Friday 24 February 2012.

The current Estimated Pool Return (EPR) for APW1 in SA is $250 per tonne.

The Western Australian pools also closed on 24 February and the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian pools closed 17 February.

CBH Grain Eastern Australia Manager Chris Ayers said the wheat pools have been well supported by growers in each state.

"Pools have traditionally played a major role in grain marketing plans over the years and it is encouraging to see there was again strong support for the No.1 wheat harvest pools in the 2011-12 season," he said.

"We would like to thank participating growers for their commitment to the 2011-12 wheat harvest pools this season and we look forward to providing you with strong and safe financial returns this season."

Current estimated pool returns are:

Estimated Pool Return for Wheat No.1 Pool ($/mt)

 

SA

VIC

NSW

QLD

APH1

-

-

$310.00

$310.00

APH2

-

-

$305.00

$305.00

H1

$290.00

$280.00

$280.00

$280.00

H2

$280.00

$270.00

$270.00

$270.00

APW1

$250.00

$240.00

$240.00

$240.00

ASW1

$240.00

$230.00

$230.00

$230.00

AGP1

$230.00

$220.00

$220.00

$220.00

FED1

$220.00

$210.00

$210.00

$210.00

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
28 FebruaryQuality Optimisation delivers value to growers in first year

Wheat growers in Western Australia are estimated to have received average additional value of at least $4 per tonne in their pockets this harvest following the roll-out of Quality Optimisation by CBH Group.

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Crane told members at the co-operative's Annual General Meeting in Perth that nearly 2700 growers had taken up Quality Optimisation with 4.6 million tonnes of wheat going through the post-delivery online optimisation process by the January cut-off dates.

Of that, almost 2 million tonnes were able to shift grade.

Dr Crane said it had been a very promising start for one of the most significant developments for grain growers in recent years.

"The Quality Optimisation system was rolled out across all zones in 2011-12 providing growers with the ability to maximise the value of their wheat without having to blend on-farm," he said.

"We believe the conservative benefit of Quality Optimisation this season from grade uplifts equates to at least $4 per tonne across the wheat crop.

"It is only the first year of Quality Optimisation and we need to continue to monitor its overall impact as the marketing year progresses. However, ultimately it will be up to growers to decide on the value of Quality Optimisation and where we take it from here."

Dr Crane said another remarkable achievement this harvest had been the delivery by growers of a record 15 million tonnes of grain into CBH's storage and handling network, more than double the previous season's drought-affected receivals of just 6.5 million tonnes.

He said the value to members of owning a strong co-operative had been evident last financial year when the combination of the 2010 drought and difficult trading environment for CBH's marketing arm had resulted in a Group loss of $21.4 million. Despite that, CBH had been able to maintain reinvestment of $97.3 million in the network and launch grower-friendly initiatives such as Quality Optimisation and its $175 million investment in revitalising grain rail transport in Western Australia.

Dr Crane said the record volume in the network from the recent harvest was expected to see a significant turnaround in CBH's financial performance this financial year, although the marketing business continued to be challenged by a very competitive trading environment which was pressuring margins for all marketers.

"While it is too early in the financial year to make a firm forecast, at this point we estimate a profit of close to $100 million dollars," Dr Crane said.

"The key difference between CBH and all other major players in the grain industry is that any surplus that we make is returned, one way or another, entirely to our growers."

Dr Crane said CBH Group's sole focus on creating and returning value to growers continued to deliver Western Australia the lowest cost, most efficient storage, handling and transport network in Australia.

This would be further enhanced this year following the co-operative's $175 million investment in the most modern, dedicated grain rail fleet in Australia, the first units of which had just begun arriving in WA.

"Our decision to invest in new rail infrastructure is another way we are providing real value to our grower members and we are confident that our acquisition of 22 new locomotives and 574 new wagons will deliver further real reductions in freight rates to port, minimising the cost of getting your grain to market," Dr Crane said,

CBH Group Chief Financial Officer David Moroney told members the co-operative had recently secured total banking facilities of $1.9 billion to fund the huge 2011/12 harvest.

"This is the largest facility we have put in place in our history, and have received tremendous support from our banks in designing new facility structures which are more efficient and available at lower margins," Mr Moroney said.

The resolution passed at today's AGM included approval for an increase in the aggregate Directors' Fee cap.

CBH Group Chairman Neil Wandel thanked members for providing the required majority support for the first increase in aggregate Directors fees since 2008, helping CBH to keep parity with similar size companies and organisations and ensure it continued to attract appropriately qualified and talented Directors.

Following the AGM, Trent Bartlett officially joined the Board as an Independent Director, replacing retiring Director Peter Knowles. Brian McAlpine of Maya joins the Board as a Member-elected Director following the recent election in District 1, replacing Rod Madden.

"On behalf of my fellow Directors and our grower members, I welcome our new Directors and thank Peter and Rod for the valuable roles they have played on the Board," Mr Wandel said.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
20 FebruaryCBH Group Member Director Elections finalised for 2012

The Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) today advised the CBH Group that Brian McAlpine of Maya has been elected by members in District 1 and current Member Director John Hassell of Pingelly has been re-elected by members in District 3 in this year's CBH Member Director Elections results announced today.

Brian McAlpine stood for election against current Member Director Rod Madden of Morawa in District 1, meanwhile in District 3, Ray Marshall of East Pingelly and Lindsay Tuckwell of Kondinin stood against Mr Hassell for election.

The results were announced following the close of polls and counting of votes today, Monday, 20 February 2012.

Current CBH Chairman Neil Wandel of Esperance was re-elected unopposed in District 5 following the closure of nominations on Friday 6 January 2012.

Mr Wandel congratulated the Member Directors on their election.

"It is encouraging to see the re-election of a Director and the election of a new member to the Board," Mr Wandel said.

"It shows us the level of interest amongst our members to be a part of the CBH Group Board.

"I am sure our new Member Director Mr McAlpine will bring new ideas, expertise and add diversity to the Board of our grower owned co-operative.

"I take this opportunity to thank Rod Madden for the six years of service to the Board and the significant contribution he has made.

"In recognition of his contribution to agriculture, Mr Madden was awarded the prestigious Sir John Monash Gold Medal Award for Agribusiness Co-operative Directors in 2002, a clear indication of his dedication to the growers of WA.

"CBH would like to wish him well in his future endeavours."

The formal declaration of Directors will take place at the CBH Group's 79th Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, 28 February 2012, which is open to all registered CBH Group members. It will be held at the Kings Park Function Centre, West Perth and will start at 3pm with member registrations open from 2pm.

Dated: 20 February 2012

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
20 FebruaryCBH Grain wheat pools close in Eastern Australia

The CBH Grain 2011-12 wheat pools have closed in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to enable marketing plans to be consolidated and provide clear focus on the task of delivering reliable and secure returns for growers.

The wheat pool remains open for growers delivering into Viterra sites in South Australia.

CBH Grain Eastern Australia Manager Chris Ayers said the wheat pools have been well supported by growers in each state.

"Pools have traditionally played a major role in grain marketing plans over the years and it is encouraging to see there was again strong support for the No.1 wheat harvest pools in the 2011-12 season," he said.

"Our specialist team of grain trading and marketing professionals are focused on surveying the market and working with customers to ensure growers receive maximum value for their grain.

"We would like to thank participating growers for their commitment to the 2011-12 wheat harvest pools this season and we look forward to providing you with strong and safe financial returns this season."

 Current estimated pool returns are:

Estimated Pool Return for Wheat No.1 Pool ($/mt)

 

SA

VIC

NSW

QLD

APH1

-

-

$320.00

$320.00

APH2

-

-

$315.00

$315.00

H1

$300.00

$290.00

$290.00

$290.00

H2

$290.00

$280.00

$280.00

$280.00

APW1

$260.00

$250.00

$250.00

$250.00

ASW1

$250.00

$240.00

$240.00

$240.00

AGP1

$240.00

$230.00

$230.00

$230.00

FED1

$230.00

$220.00

$220.00

$220.00

 Dated: 20 February 2012

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

[Close]
15 FebruaryWA harvest hits 15 million tonnes

A truckload of wheat delivered to CBH Group's Pingrup receival site in the Albany zone late yesterday afternoon has pushed total grain receivals in Western Australia past 15 million tonnes for the first time in history.

The delivery consolidates the 2011-12 harvest as the biggest crop ever produced in WA. A month ago, harvest receivals surpassed the previous record set in 2003-04 of 14,695,321 million tonnes.

CBH Group General Manager Operations, Colin Tutt said reaching the 15 million tonne milestone was a fantastic achievement for everyone involved with the 2011-12 harvest which has been incredibly challenging.

Our pre-harvest state forecast of 13.5 million tonnes has been well and truly broken and we will reflect on this year as one full of challenges, hard work and exceptional yields," Mr Tutt said.

Mr Tutt said the challenging times will continue over coming months as the task to move the big crop to port ramps up and, as a grower co-operative, CBH was determined to make sure it happened.

"The large freight task we are currently facing demonstrates the importance of efficient rail transport," he said.

"Last week the first shipment of 50 standard gauge aluminium wagons arrived into the Port of Fremantle marking one of the most tangible steps yet in growers owning their own fleet of rolling stock."

Last year the CBH Group contracted Bradken to build 574 rail wagons, 446 narrow gauge and 128 standard gauge as part of a $175 million commitment to above rail rolling stock. 

Mr Tutt said the 2011-12 harvest is expected to continue in some areas until the final weeks of February, with around another 75,000 tonnes expected to be delivered.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820 

[Close]
09 FebruaryNew wagons hit the Western Australian shore

The first shipment of the CBH Group's new rail wagons arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia, today.

The 50 standard gauge aluminium wagons arrived from the Port of Lianyungang in north-eastern China into the Port of Fremantle after a voyage of just under a fortnight. 

CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said this was a milestone for the CBH Group and for the growers of Western Australia.

"This is one of the most tangible steps yet in growers owning their own fleet of rolling stock. It is the first of many momentous arrivals for us to celebrate this year; 2012 is the year rail will be revitalised in Western Australia," he said. 

"Having the latest designs and technology, our wagons are going to deliver a great deal of value back to WA growers. 

"The light weight aluminium body allows us to load more grain into each wagon, around 10 tonnes per wagon more capacity than the current steel wagons. This of course means more tonnes to port per train movement and a more efficient rail system for everyone.

"The wagons are also incredibly safer than the ones we use currently; there will be significantly less direct interaction with wagons with the installation of auto hatch and discharge doors as well as scanning technology."

The wagons will be stored locally, ready to undergo final commissioning works ahead of moving out onto the network to pull grain. 

This is the first of a number of shipments of wagons planned to arrive between now and July. The next shipment of wagons is not far behind, with an estimated time of arrival set for mid-March.

"We are satisfied with the delivery schedule of the wagons and the quality of the product. These wagons will provide us with far better productivity and safety outcomes than the fleet we have access to under the current above-rail provider," Mr Tutt said. 

Last year the CBH Group contracted Bradken to build 574 rail wagons, 446 narrow gauge and 128 standard gauge.  Bradken is an Australian company with facilities in Xuzhou, China, where the wagons have been manufactured.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong - Media Advisor, CBH Group
Ph: 9237 9820

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January

31 JanuaryGrowers benefit from co-op structure in a tough financial year

The value to growers of the CBH Group's co-operative structure was clearly evident in the 2011 financial year as it kept charges low but maintained high levels of network investment despite the financial impact of the 2010-11 drought in Western Australia.

CBH Group Chairman Neil Wandel said the 2011 Annual Report just distributed to the Co-operative's 4700 grower members underlined CBH's priority of creating and returning value to growers.

"Despite a financially challenging year in 2010-11, CBH kept increases in storage and handling fees to a minimum for 2011-12 after holding them flat for three years," Mr Wandel said.

"We also reinvested another $97.3 million in capital expenditure and maintenance on the network in 2011 ahead of this year's big harvest, ensuring we can continue to meet growers' needs, now and in the future. We continue to provide growers and customers of Western Australian grain with the lowest cost, most reliable grain export supply chain in the nation."

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Crane, said the challenging year had underlined the importance of the business efficiency drive undertaken by CBH in 2010 and 2011, resulting in a timely reduction in its breakeven point coinciding with the small crop.

Dr Crane said the value of the co-operatives's growth along the grain value chain had also been evident in the 2011 financial year as a strong performance from its flour mills in South East Asia helped partially offset the impact of the poor 2010-11 season in WA and trading losses.

"Our investment in the Interflour Group performed very strongly with Interflour achieving a profit after tax of $14.7 million attributable to the CBH Group, and entitling us to a record $US12 million cash return," Dr Crane said.

"Our downstream investments played a key role in minimising the Group loss in a financial year where we were hit by one of the worst droughts ever in Western Australia, and exceptionally difficult trading and logistics conditions for all marketers operating in eastern Australia."

Dr Crane said CBH's performance in the year to September 30, 2011 largely reflected the 2010-11 season and a much improved financial result was in store in 2012 following the record-breaking 14.9 million tonne harvest just completed in Western Australia. Growers would also start to see the benefit of their co-operative's $175 million investment in new rail rolling stock, which will begin in the coming weeks.

"The coming year will be a very exciting, if challenging year, for CBH," Dr Crane said. "We will store, handle and market the biggest crop in Western Australia's history and will fully implement our rail strategy, with benefits to flow to growers from 2013."

CBH members are invited to attend its 79th Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 28 February at Kings Park Function Centre, West Perth. Refreshments will be provided afterwards to celebrate the United Nations 2012 Year of Co-operatives and the Australian Year of the Farmer.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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23 JanuaryCBH Group senior management change

The CBH Group has begun an extensive search for a new head of its marketing, accumulation and trading division following the resignation of CBH Grain General Manager, Brian Mumme.

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Crane, said he had accepted Mr Mumme's resignation with regret following his decision to return to the oil and gas industry as President of North West Shelf Australia LNG.

"Brian has built a strong team that has won and held an impressive market share up against some of the world's largest grain traders," Dr Crane said.

"On Brian's watch, CBH Grain has become the leading grain exporter out of Western Australia and one of the biggest in Australia. This is one of the most attractive and important positions in the Australian grain industry and I am confident we will draw a strong field of internal and external candidates."

Dr Crane said Mr Mumme had been a key contributor to the CBH Group executive team since joining CBH in August 2008.

"He has led CBH Grain and its predecessor Grain Pool of Western Australia through the dramatic first years of grain export deregulation," he said. "CBH has benefitted greatly through the past three and a half years from Brian's extensive international supply chain and trading experience.

"The focus on running robust and trustworthy pools, a grower friendly approach to contracting and the implementation of a unique rebate of charges are some of the initiatives CBH Grain has implemented to show growers that a co-operative like CBH Is serious about winning their business.

"Most importantly, Brian has developed a very strong marketing, trading and accumulation team around him that will ensure CBH Grain does not miss a beat in marketing this year's harvest while we recruit his successor."

CBH Grain Strategy Manager Bryce Banfield has been appointed Acting General Manager CBH Grain until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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18 JanuaryWA sets a new harvest record

The 2011-12 harvest yesterday broke the record for the biggest ever produced in Western Australia, with more grain still to come.

Deliveries yesterday pushed the state total to 14,700,000 million tonnes to surpass the previous record set in 2003-04 of 14,695,321 million tonnes.

CBH Group General Manager Operations, Colin Tutt said every Zone has exceeded delivery expectations and the pre-harvest State forecast of 13.5 million tonnes.

"The knowledge that we have broken the record as the largest grain crop ever received in Western Australia is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved with the 2011-12 harvest which has really tested us all," Mr Tutt said.

"We have seen significant rain delays, quality issues requiring extensive use of Falling Number machines, bins filling and closing and challenges in moving grain to port.

"It is a great achievement to break the record and we would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to growers, our employees, transporters, shires, local communities and everyone else who has helped to get this harvest delivered."

"Daily delivery records have been broken at 57 of our receival sites and more than half a million man-hours were worked in the month of December, including by around 2000 harvest casuals, twice the number CBH employed last year. Thankfully, 171 of the 181 sites that were operating this harvest also have handled this big crop without recording a Lost Time Injury."

Mr Tutt said a huge challenge still lay ahead over coming months to move the big crop to port and, as a grower co-operative, CBH was determined to make sure it happened.

"It is timely that the State and Federal Governments took the decision last year to invest $350 million in the grain transport network," he said.

"It also shows the foresight of CBH Group's decision to invest $175 million in new rail rolling stock, which will start to arrive over the next few months to be operated by new rail provider Watco. The need for improved rail transport performance has never i.been more important."

The harvest is expected to continue in some areas until the final weeks of January, with around another 200,000 tonnes expected to be delivered.  

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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16 JanuaryCBH members to consider directors’ fee increase

The Board of the CBH Group has requested the co-operative's grower members to consider an increase in the Directors fee cap following external independent advice.

CBH Group Chairman Neil Wandel said grower members would be asked at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) to approve the first increase in aggregate Directors fees since 2008.

Mr Wandel said the proposed increase in aggregate fees to $1,126,000 represented the mid-point in the range recommended by Gerard Daniels and was considered an appropriate level in the current marketplace for entities comparable to CBH.

"We will be informing growers that CBH's maximum aggregate Directors' fees have increased only 5.88% since 2004 compared with a 38.8% increase in wage inflation," Mr Wandel said.

"In those eight years, the workload and complexity of matters dealt with by the CBH Board has increased significantly. CBH is now a large, complex business in a far more competitive and volatile marketplace.

"Grower members need to be mindful that CBH keeps parity with similar organisations and continues to attract interest from talented and appropriately qualified individuals to join its Board.

"CBH Directors currently earn a base fee which fails to compete with the fees being paid by companies and organisations of similar size and demands. It is also important for Grower Directors to be adequately compensated for the time and cost of being away from their farming businesses and families. 

"Grower Directors do not do it for the money but the money helps them offset the cost of labour while they are absent from their farms so they can do it."

Directors do not intend to vote on this resolution because of the potential conflict of interest, other than if they are appointed a proxy for a member who indicates how they want to vote. The Chairman intends to vote undirected proxies in favour of the resolution in accordance with the Notice of AGM.

Grower members can get further details on the review of the Directors Fee cap and the resolution in the Notice of AGM to be mailed to them this week. Members can vote at the AGM on Tuesday 28 February or return a completed proxy form by 3pm Sunday 26 February.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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12 JanuaryWA barley and lupin pools deliver even in tough times

Western Australia suffered one of its driest seasons in 2010 and only 50% of the average barley crop was produced, while lupins were affected by downwards pressure on prices. Yet despite the market setbacks CBH Grain was able to finalise pools for both grains above the opening estimated return.

CBH Grain Head of Accumulations Richard Simonaitis said the pool return for malting barley was finalised at $350 per tonne above the opening Estimated Pool Return (EPR) of $343.

"The 2010-11 season resulted in variable local malting barley quality, characterised by high screenings and low test weight," he said.

"However, CBH Grain executed a patient selling campaign for both feed and malting barley into key markets, such as Japan, China, Saudi Arabia and the local domestic market.

"The final results reflected the benefits of a large and committed marketing network, long term customer relationships and a well executed sales program.

Meanwhile, the final lupin EPR was $321.71, more than $36 above the opening EPR of $285.

"The start of the season saw high protein values in lupins both domestically and abroad. Drought conditions in Western Australia resulted in lupins commanding higher values than export parity due to strong domestic feed demand," Mr Simonaitis said.

"Later on that year saw a steady decrease in protein values as China attempted to curb inflation by reducing its reliance on imports of soybeans and corn. As a result, excess South American and US soybeans found their way into traditional feed markets, placing downwards pressure on prices.

"Despite the challenging conditions the CBH Grain pool management team was able to finalise the lupin pool above the opening EPR.

"Thankyou to all growers who supported the CBH Grain 2010-11 barley and lupin pools in an extremely difficult year."

The following table identifies the final payments made for the 2010-11 barley and lupin pools in Western Australia.

Harvest Pool

NEPR

Final Payment (Harvest Payments)

Final Payment (Distribution)

Final Payment (Deferred)

Final EPR

Barley BAU1

$343.00

$35.13

$38.63

$35.13

$350.13

Barley BFD1

$290.00

$27.63

$30.38

$27.63

$275.13

Lupin LUP1

$285.00

$18.41

$45.46

$18.41

$321.71

Media Contact:        Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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06 JanuaryNominations complete for 2012 CBH Member Director Elections

Following the closure of nominations for the 2012 CBH Group Member Director Elections at 12 noon today, Friday 6 January 2012, the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) has advised CBH Group that there have been six nominations, including nominations from three current Directors - one of whom has been elected unopposed.

The current Directors whose three-year terms will expire at the CBH Group's Annual General Meeting on 28 February 2012 are Rod Madden and John Hassell and CBH Chairman Neil Wandel - all of whom stood for re-election as a candidate in this year's elections.

Neil Wandel has been re-elected unopposed in District 5.

In District 1, Brian McAlpine and will stand against Rod Madden for election and in District 3, Raymond Marshall and Lindsay Darton Tuckwell will stand against John Hassell for election.

Elections will now be held in Districts 1 and 3 and grower members in these districts will have until the close of the poll at 10.00am on Monday, 20 February 2012 to vote for a Director in these districts.

Ballot packs containing full voting information will be mailed to members residing in Electoral Districts 1 and 3 on Friday 20 January 2012.

The results will be announced following the counting of votes on the same day as the poll closes, Monday, 20 February 2012.

For further information regarding the CBH Group District Member Director Elections, please contact Wayne Nicholson, Returning Officer from the WAEC, on 9214 0448 or email wayne.nicholson@waec.wa.gov.au.

Media Contact: Claire Armstrong, Media Advisor, CBH Group

Ph: (08) 9237 9820

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