ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA — Viterra announced on May 30 that it is strengthening its grain classification training capacity through the creation of a new unit within the company's quality and technical services group dedicated to providing classification training to regional employees. This will involve the recruitment of six new quality control officers.

The company said it is currently recruiting for five Quality Control Field Officers and a Quality Control Training Manager to be based across the state — two covering Eyre Peninsula, one covering Lower North and Yorke Peninsula, one covering the Mid North and one covering the South East and Murray Mallee — to ensure the consistency of grain classification at all sites.

Viterra President South East Asia Rob Gordon said the establishment of the new division built on recent company initiatives, including the purchase of 78 falling number machines and the recruitment of 200 permanent operations employees.

"These quality control field officers will be responsible for training our grain classifiers in grain assessment techniques and the use of classification equipment, including the recently purchased falling number machines, and they will provide ongoing support especially during peak periods at harvest," he said.

"A dedicated internal training team reduces our reliance on third-party trainers, which means we retain the expertise in-house. This is consistent with our recent initiative to recruit 200 permanent operations employees, which is designed to retain existing expertise as well as attracting new talent.

"We have listened to feedback received during the post-harvest review about the grain classification process and we are responding by making the necessary investments to address some of the legacy issues in the system. As with the other initiatives we need to act now to ensure we are ready for next harvest.

"We are committed to providing a high level of service to growers and investing in training and development opportunities for our employees.

"While these initiatives highlight the company's commitment to grain classification, we will continue to play an active role in seeking greater stakeholder collaboration and consistency in encouraging uniform classification standards across the industry."

Viterra has invested approximately A$35 million in storage, transport, logistics and port terminal infrastructure in South Australia since taking ownership of the company only 18 months ago. This investment was further enhanced recently with the announcement that the company was purchasing a suite of falling number machines valued at more than A$4 million.

Recruitment for the quality control positions began last week and they will receive intensive training before commencing their work with local site employees.