CBH releases survey results rejecting AGC push

Latest blow delivered in stoush over bid to list nation’s biggest grains logistics and exporting firm

CBH releases survey results rejecting AGC push
CBH claims it has huge member support.


Grains cooperative CBH has unveiled the results of the latest in a regular survey of members regarding a bid to restructure it backed by one of its biggest rivals.

Conducted by independent market research agency Thinkfield, the survey of almost 1,000 growers shows 78 per cent support for the decision to reject the GrainCorp-backed Australian Grain Champions proposal to corporatise CBH.

"This was a slightly larger survey than normal and by expanding the survey group we are able to get statistically valid information that gives us 95 percent confidence that all members have the same views as those shown in the results," CBH Group CEO Dr Andy Crane says.

"Interestingly these results mirror very closely the results from our grower meeting polls, which saw close to 900 growers attend over the last five weeks.

"By doing the formal independent survey we now feel certain we have a very definite view of our growers concerns and where we should be heading on this issue."

According to CBH, 89 percent of survey recipients also said that they support a formal review of structure and governance this year.

"The board has heard that growers want more information on these critical issues to have their own say on the future of their CBH," Crane says.

"They are looking at a range of options and want to make sure that we have the best structure for servicing grower’s needs going forward.

"That may well be the co-operative model that we currently have or there may be changes we can make to better reflect growers needs."

The announcement is the latest move in competing claims between the parties.

Three weeks ago, AGC claimed its own meetings with 500 growers in Western Australia, where the greatest concentration of CBH growers reside, showed a majority supported seeing AGC’s proposal in full, a move CBH is yet to make.

"The CBH board has blocked growers from a full and balanced consideration of our proposal so it’s no surprise growers attending CBH-organised meetings support the status quo, AGC says.

‘What is clear is that CBH’s directors determined very early on that our proposal was not in the board’s best interests. For growers to make an informed decision, they would actually need to be provided with the details of our proposal.

"It is staggering that CBH would seek to characterise grower support for a structure and governance review as some sort of endorsement of its current strategy.

"Without AGC, nothing would be happening at all."

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