Grain conference expected to attract a record audience

by World Grain Staff
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Registrations for the Australian Grains Industry Conference, July 25-27 at the Crown Conference Center, Melbourne, Australia, are rapidly heading toward record numbers, with the highest ever level of participation from international delegates.

The 2011 conference theme “Australian Grains Industry: Weathering Risks: Creating Opportunities,” reflects the environment the industry faces today.

The Australian grains industry is well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities arising from the positive outlook for agricultural trade and soft commodities driven by rising income levels and changing diets. However, it also faces greater volatility as grain markets react to weather and other events that impact supply and financial markets play a greater role.

The two-day technical program presents a range of high-caliber speakers covering topics such as the global grains, oilseeds and pulses outlook, customer demands and perceptions of Australian grains, export logistics, feed grains, grain foods and food security.

New to the program this year is the “Conversation with the CEO” session where high-profile radio personality Jon Faine will host an informal discussion with CEOs from various parts of the industry. CEOs participating include Rob Gordon, president of Southeast Asia Viterra, and John Harvey, the recently appointed managing director for GRDC.

The conference will feature sessions on opportunities and developments in the malt industry; grain foods — with a focus on increasing Australia’s consumption of grains; key export markets such as Indonesia; changing commercial models in the input supply sector; and feed grains.

The conference will also look at the global influences on grains, oilseeds and pulses with keynote speakers from the U.S. including: Mike Krueger, president, The Money Farm; Mike Dwyer, director global policy analysis for the FAS/USDA; and Michael Whitehead, ANZ’s director agribusiness research.

The technical program will commence with an address from Robert Henderson, chief economist — markets from the National Australia Bank, who will provide insights into the economic outlook and implications for the grains industry.

Conference organizer Rosemary Richards said the conference has something for everyone, no matter where they sit in the industry and this has been reflected in the high numbers of delegates registering.

“The conference program provides an opportunity for all in the industry to gain insights into global and local developments and incorporates a number of high-profile globally recognized experts as well as local and international industry representatives,” she said. “The strong support particularly from international delegates this year reflects the importance of Australia as a supplier to global grain, oilseed and pulse markets.”

Visit www.ausgrainsconf.com for further details and to register for the conference.
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