At the same time that consumers are being warned that the price of beer will increase before Christmas due to a grain shortage GrainCorp are refusing to accept barley (a key ingredient in beer) deliveries at some of their NSW receival sites.
In the lead up to harvest farmers were notified that deliveries of barley wouldn’t be accepted at many GrainCorp facilities in Regional NSW.
“GrainCorp have lost the plot, they were set up by farmers as a grain receival business, farmers paid levies to build the facilities that GrainCorp now manage and rather than providing a service to farmers as a grain receival business GrainCorp is now focused on being a Grain Retail Business,” says AWU NSW Branch Secretary Tony Callinan.
“In addition to refusing barley deliveries GrainCorp are also turning away deliveries of lower grade wheat which means farmers are left with two choices; wear the additional cost of storing grain on farm or wear the extra cost of transporting their grain to a site that will take it, which in some cases is hundreds of kilometres each way.
“GrainCorp are refusing to invest in existing infrastructure or build additional new storage bunkers at isolated sites, so basically unless your farm is near a GrainCorp depot that is on the main rail line you have limited storage available this year.
“Historically grain trains have run on Branch rail lines from isolated receival sites to major facilities like the one in Parkes, but the branch rail lines have not been maintained.
“Now the grain is carted by trucks rather than rail which tears up the roads and leaves the shire councils to pick up the repair bill.
“With all of the rain and flooded roads this year the available storage capacity at many GrainCorp sites will not be sufficient for the grain that will be harvested this year.
“GrainCorp charges farmers a delivery fee, they charge buyers a loading fee then they make a profit when they sell the grain, it’s no wonder they just posted a record profit of $380 Million for the year ending September 30, they can’t lose!
“This year’s profit is nearly three times higher than last years.
“They handled 41.1 Million tonnes of grain this year up from 34.4 Million the previous year, all while they are struggling to attract and retain staff in regional communities.
“GrainCorp are profiteering by shifting transport costs to farmers and to make it worse they are refusing to provide the service to farmers that is the very reason they exist,” says AWU NSW Branch Secretary Tony Callinan.