WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — Growers who delivered and sold grain to the CBH Group in 2016-17 will be rewarded with a rebate of up to A$12.75 a tonne, the highest ever paid in the co-operative’s history. 

CBH said the rebate will significantly reduce growers’ storage and handling costs for the 2017-18 harvest and that it is over and above the funding requirements for the delivery of its Network Strategy over the next few years. 

Ed Kalajzic, CBH chief financial officer, said as a co-operative the group’s sole focus is to create and return value to growers, and enable them to compete in the global market. 

“The co-operative business model, our strong financial position and disciplined capital management policy means that any surpluses to our required capital can be returned straight back to growers’ bottom line,” Kalajzic said. “We’re proud to be able to increase our support for growers to a record amount this season – an outcome that was in part achieved by a record harvest last season and our continued drive to find and implement efficiencies throughout the supply chain. Since we introduced the rebate program in 2009, CBH has returned a total of A$333 million to growers.” 

The total A$12.75 comprises a A$6.25 per tonne rebate from CBH’s Marketing and Trading division, a A$6.00 per tonne rebate from Operations and A$0.50 Investments rebate.

“Our three key divisions performed well this past year. Our Marketing and Trading division performed exceptionally well despite tough trading conditions, returning A$50 million of rebates, while Investments returned A$8.3 million,” Kalajzic said. “Meanwhile, the record harvest in 2016-17 doubled the rebate return from Operations to A$99 million. Not only are we in a good position to fund the Network Strategy but we can offer a rebate on top.”

CBH said growers will have more options and increased flexibility with their rebates for the 2017-18 harvest and onwards as the co-op activates a number of new features. 

There will be a wider range of storage and handling fees for growers to apply their rebate against, with options expanded to include receival, freight, storage and outturn fees. 

The expiration period for rebates has been extended from three years to six years to make sure growers who are impacted by poor season conditions are not disadvantaged and have the flexibility to redeem rebates in future seasons. 

Growers who are planning family succession or retirement can also take a one-off option to transfer or cash out any unused rebates.

“We’ve listened to the feedback and are pleased to be able to offer growers optionality for their rebates, along with extending the expiration period that will allow growers to better manage their plans in the short to medium term,” said Kalajzic. 

From early October, growers will be able to access the new Rebates Portal on LoadNet, CBH’s online grain platform.   

The portal will allow growers to view their rebate balance, choose and manage which fees to offset their rebates, request a one-off transfer or cash-out if leaving farming, and view all transactions. 

If growers take no action, their rebates will default to off-set their receival fees.