A group of Eyre Peninsula farmers have formed a co-operative to pursue opportunities to improve competitiveness for local grain growers.
Eyre Peninsula Co-operative Bulk Handling was formed at a meeting in Port Lincoln recently.
The group includes farmers from across Eyre Peninsula and aims to improve returns to growers and farm businesses using a collaborative approach.
Co-operative spokesperson Bruce Heddle said in the first instance the co-operative would pursue any opportunity that could arise from the possible development of a new port facility by Iron Road at Cape Hardy.
“At present, we have a relatively high ‘farm to customer’ cost structure when measured on a national and international level,” he said.
“The port at Cape Hardy has the potential to be a highly efficient, state of the art operation that can make an identifiable difference to our farm to customer cost structure.”
At present, we have a relatively high ‘farm to customer’ cost structure when measured on a national and international level.Bruce Heddle
Mr Heddle said the co-operative would negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding to help work with Iron Road to develop a facility that would benefit the company and the grain industry.
The cooperative is also aiming to gain solid support from the Eyre Peninsula farming community and is hoping to hear from any prospective members.
Mr Heddle said it was important to have the support of the region’s farming community and the cooperative needed a broad base of support.
“We see this as having an impact virtually across the whole Eyre Peninsula, it will create competitive forces that change the forces of grain flow and pricing,” he said.
Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula is supportive of the initiative.
The organisation’s chief executive officer Dion Dorward said Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula was willing to support the co-operative in any way it could.
“This is a grass roots response to an industry wide challenge and the success of it will be dependent on local membership,” he said.