WHEAT producers and agribusiness policy experts are among the group of seven people appointed by the federal government to help identify areas of inefficiency in the wheat market.
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig today announced the appointment of the members of the Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce and the Taskforce Terms of Reference, as part of the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Act 2012, passed by parliament on November 29, 2012.
Minister Ludwig announced Dr Michele Allan as chair of the taskforce, along with members Mark Barber, David Fulwood, Imre Mencshelyi, Mitch Morison, Rebecca Reardon and Graham Shields.
Dr Allan has 30 years of experience in a range of fields in executive and non–executive roles, including Birchip Cropping Group, Grains and Legumes Nutrition, and Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
Mark Barber has 20 years of experience in agriculture, including as agribusiness practice leader in one of Australia’s largest economic consulting firms, ACIL Tasman.
Western Australia’s David Fulwood is the managing director of a family farm business and has been involved in the industry for over 15 years. He is also a Nuffield Scholar.
Imre Mencshelyi is an experienced executive manager in the grains industry, and was previously group chief executive officer of the CBH Group of Companies.
Mitch Morison was until recently the commercial general manager at Cargill Australia Ltd and has 20 years of commodity trade management experience in global grain markets.
Chief executive officer of Walgett Special One Co–operative, Rebecca Reardon, is an owner/operator of a grain growing operation in Moree, NSW. She has 19 years of experience in the Australian grains industry from international and domestic trading companies to bulk handler organisations to grower co–operatives.
Graham Shields is a wheat producer with 45 years of grain production in the central wheat belt and the south west wheat belt in Western Australia. He has strong experience in marketing and business management, with a background in grains export, fertiliser import and distribution, and udon noodle manufacturing.
Minister Ludwig said the taskforce represented an opportunity to give some clarity to a range of issues that have been raised by the wheat industry over the last decade.
“The taskforce will examine issues across the supply chain, including industry-good functions and provide recommendations to improve the efficiency and profitability of the industry outside of regulation,” he said.
“Industry is a key driver in this process, and I encourage all interested stakeholders to engage with the taskforce as it addresses its terms of reference.”
In forming the taskforce, Minister Ludwig invited key industry stakeholders to participate on a selection committee and provide recommendations for taskforce membership.
The committee comprised equal representation across the grower, trader/exporter and port terminal operator sectors, and was led by independent chair, Bob Granger.
The taskforce will provide its final report July 1, 2014.