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GIMAF continues its work very strongly

and has been active with several markets

in recent months, with China taking the

most attention.

Exports of feedgrains to China have been

more challenging in the latter half of 2015,

with it being well known that China is sitting

on a large stockpile of locally-produced

corn. The drop in world grain prices meant

Chinese consumers could import feedgrain

more cheaply, although this has led to some

issues of quarantine concern as imports

have been closely scrutinised.

GIMAF has been working with Department

of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR)

to clarify China’s approach to managing

quarantine issues. This included visits

by two technical groups from China’s

quarantine authorities in late November

and GIMAF is reporting to the industry



The Productivity Commission has

announced an inquiry into Australian

Agriculture, which will focus on regulations

that impact competitiveness and


One of the concerns during such an inquiry

is the focus on removing regulations in

order to be seen to meet Government

targets, whilst in some cases stronger, more

nationally consistent regulations are actually

required to reduce costs and encourage a

more competitive environment.

GPA will be participating in the inquiry

and will keep members informed as the

Commission releases further information.

For more information see

http://www. .



Work on the future governance structure

for GRDC continues. This is a long-term

project for what is a long-term issue –

ensuring GRDC’s governance structure is

best placed to facilitate the grain industry’s

research capacity for many years to come.

One key aspect is enabling greater

involvement by levy-payers through things

such as directly voting for board members

and levy rates. It sounds simple, however

the systems the industry uses to collect

levies were set up purely for collection,

not for the more sophisticated purposes

now contemplated.

The September GRDC consultative session

heard a presentation on work that explored

“approaches to developing a membership

database and membership identification

process for GRDC levy payers”. Paths

involving legislative change and voluntary

systems were explained, with the clear

result that legislative amendments will

be required for the most effective result.

Other work in progress includes:

The business case for transitioning to

an industry-owned corporation (IOC),

including a cost-benefit analysis

Detailed analysis of the arrangements

governing existing IOCs to identify key

strengths and weaknesses (both real and

perceived), with recommendations about

how strengths might be magnified and

weaknesses avoided or mitigated

Consideration of the role of

Representative Organisations in

consulting with and influencing the

governance and operation of an IOC

Detailed description of the governance

arrangements needed to meet the

unique requirements of the GRDC and

the grains industry

Description of the steps required to

smoothly transition to an IOC (including


The GPA Grains Policy Council will be

considering the outcomes of this work

early in 2016.




GRAIN: Safely managing

risks with crop inputs

and grain on farm


launched on

27 July at the Australian

Grains Industry

Conference by GPA.

The grains guide,

developed with and

endorsed by Australia’s grain representative

organisations, is a voluntary, self-help

program built on best management practice

that takes a positive approach to managing

on-farm risks in all forms.

The guide steps through the processes and

protocols required to meet local and global

obligations and commitments, tracing all

farm inputs including chemicals, fertilisers,

machinery, equipment and grain storage.

It also covers weeds, pests, diseases,

biosecurity issues and farm health and


Incorporated in the guide are more than

30 current industry and government codes

of practice, regulations and legislation and

risk management criteria into a single,

easy-to-use framework. It captures the steps

in all farming operations via a pro-forma list

of annual activities and actions from pre-

planting through production, harvesting,

storage and transport, with safety an

important element.

It is intended that individual growers, and

the grains sector as a whole, can use the

guide to review, adapt and improve their

practices to ensure the integrity of the

grain they produce, while giving buyers

confidence in the reliability of Australian

grain production. For more information see


Issue One 2016