In Agriculture

Nationals Deputy Senate Leader Fiona Nash

Poll Finds Growers Oppose GrainCorp Takeover

Victor P Taffa

Nationals Senator Fiona Nash said a poll commissioned by Fairfax Agricultural Media shows grain growers won’t be fooled by US giant Archer Daniels Midland that it taking over GrainCorp will benefit them or the industry.

The poll, published in The Land today, found just over half of the growers surveyed from New South Wales (NSW) , Queensland and Victoria want the sale to be blocked.

Two thirds did not believe the takeover would benefit their own farm’s performance. In NSW, almost 80% of growers did not expect ADM’s takeover deal to be good for grain enterprises.

Nearly 60 % of all surveyed growers felt it was either “unlikely” or “highly unlikely” that ADM would maintain and upgrade GrainCorp’s supply network and services despite its promises.

40% did not trust the company’s record given its extensive record of price fixing, bribery and fraud allegations including convictions, fines and jail sentences.

57 % of NSW growers were especially concerned about ADM’s past record. In fact, the poll found only 5% of growers across the three states believes ADM has a record they can trust.

“The results speak for themselves Australian grain growers are very worried about ADM taking over GrainCorp because they don’t trust the company or its promises.” Senator Nash said.

“Growers remain very concerned that ADM, in taking over GrainCorp’s extensive supply network, would potentially take advantage of this market power resulting in higher prices, the closure of receival sites and restricted access to third parties. Growers also appear to question ADM’s commitment to infrastructure spending.”

“They clearly do not believe the promises ADM is making. This takeover bid is only in the interest of shareholder profits not Australian growers. Growers know GrainCorp is a strong performing business and doesn’t need to sell.”

“These latest poll findings further strengthen the case that the takeover must be rejected by the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Treasurer.” Senator Nash said.

Senator Nash added ADM’s latest refusal to date to attend another senate hearing into the takeover next Wednesday raises more questions on what it has to hide. ADM wrote to the senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport committee of whom Senator Nash is a member, advising it will not attend to give further evidence and that any questions are sent in writing.

“The senate committee wants to further question ADM on the takeover in the interest of the Australian grain industry. For ADM to refuse to do so would show utter disrespect for the Australian senate and growers, and would be another reason why this company should not be trusted.” Senator Nash said.

The Rudd and Gillard Governments have done great damage to Australia’s Cattle Export Industry. The Rudd Government needs to support Australia’s Grain Industry and Stop the GrainCorp Takeover as the Takeover is Not in Australia’s National Interest.


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