Like many of you we are deeply concerned about the huge price difference between Winnipeg and Geelong for canola. How is it that our farmers are getting paid so poorly, when there is such a demand for our product?
There are several issues at play in this very complex market. We are experiencing unprecedented global freight challenges and local supply chain issues. Despite a strong, albeit delayed and long harvest, getting product to export customers in the current environment is expensive, difficult, and risky.
The question needs to be asked: Are these prices we're seeing the result of a clogged-up export supply chain after a big crop, or is it indicative of something somewhat more serious? It is probably not entirely due to competition failure, but it is obvious that at least part of the problem lies with laissez-faire competition policy, enforcement in this country, and atrocious merger laws.
So many of our farmers are underinvesting in their enterprises because gatekeepers in the supply chain can cream the industry. Disruptors and new entrants are easily dealt with by squeezing profits out elsewhere in the chain. Our push for $30 billion in farmgate value by 2030 in NSW needs significant investment that will not come without robust competition laws, and transparent, dynamic markets.
With even the ACCC bemoaning the lack of capacity to manage competition-sapping mergers with the tools at hand, it is time to supercharge efforts to enact this longstanding policy.
Grain growers deserve transparent dynamic markets that do reflect what's going on elsewhere in the world.
Furthermore, it is critical that the Australian grain market is as transparent and dynamic as possible, to ensure our grain producers receive the best possible price even in unprecedented years such as what we have just experienced.
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