SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Wheat Exports Australia (WEA) announced on  May 11 the outcome of an external audit conducted to review compliance by Emerald Group Australia Pty Ltd with its obligations under the Wheat Export Marketing Act 2008.

“In light of some market feedback on the 2010-11 marketing year, WEA organized an independent audit of Emerald’s administration of its 2010-11 wheat pools,” said Peter Woods, WEA chief executive officer. “The audit’s conclusions and WEA’s subsequent inquiries identified areas for improvement including:

  • the systems and processes surrounding the setting of Estimated Pool Returns (EPR) and measurement of pool performance and
  • the disclosure of Emerald’s national pool structure and attributes including the purchase of fixed price (cash) wheat by the pools and the use of early order premiums.

Mick Cattanach, Emerald’s managing director, said Emerald was committed to working constructively with WEA toward further addressing the issues identified in the audit, in the interests of open and transparent operation of its pools.

“Since the establishment of the business, Emerald has taken significant steps to continuously improve our systems for the benefit of our clients and the industry as a whole. While Emerald welcomes the observations of the audit, and has made important changes as a result, those changes should properly be seen in the context of a program of governance, systems and pool processes instituted by Emerald, particularly over the last two years,” Cattanach said.

Woods said that WEA was confident that the outcome of the external audit and subsequent analysis would lead to improved management and transparency of pool operations by Emerald.