CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Australian grain producer representative organizations meeting in Canberra, Australia, on March 6 have agreed to form a steering committee to guide the next stage in developing a new governance structure for the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC).
Driven by changes to grain markets and the regulatory environment around the GRDC, the process to consider future governance structures began in 2013 when consultants were commissioned to conduct a review for the purpose of seeking to ensure GRDC has a governance structure that will deliver robust, accountable and commercial research, development and extension (RD&E) outcomes to levy payers in a changing operating environment.

Grain Producers Australia Chairman Andrew Weidemann said it was very clear that Australian grain growers recognized the importance of lifting industry productivity through ongoing effort in RD&E, which in turn requires an efficient, effective and accountable system for managing funding and direction of this effort.

“We have a group of nine state and national grain farmer bodies working on this issue and the level of agreement on this issue is extraordinarily strong,” Weidemann said. “After our consultants Marsden Jacob Associates reported in 2014, the producer group was unanimous in their acceptance of the recommendations of the Marsden Jacob review.

“Grain farmer organizations believe that while the GRDC model has served the industry exceptionally well, changes in the market and the regulatory environment will require differing arrangements in the future. This means evolving the GRDC structure accordingly.”

It is intended that the first meeting of the steering committee will be held in April. The organizations working together on this project are AgForce Queensland, Grain Growers Ltd, Grain Producers Australia, Grain Producers South Australia, NSW Farmers Association, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, VFF Grains Group, WA Farmers, and WA Grains Group.

The Marsden Jacob report can be found here