Commonwealth Bank Group launches corporate partnership with Leading Farm Research Group

10 July 2001

The Commonwealth Bank Group today announced a major new partnership with the agronomic research group, Birchip. The Partnership is designed to assist the long term production and viability of the Australian grain industry. It will also give the Commonwealth Bank Group staff a greater understanding of the cropping industry and its issues.

Under the terms of the partnership, the Commonwealth Bank Group will contribute significant funding to the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) over a three-year period. The Bank will also help grain producers to capitalise on market conditions by leveraging its advanced risk management and hedging skills in foreign markets.

The new partnership was launched at a special BCG Expo dinner at Birchip in Victoria last night (9 July 2001).

The BCG is a farmer-driven organisation which seeks to improve the profitability and long-term viability of farm communities, through research, demonstration and exchange of ideas among farmers and industry groups. Over the last eight years the BCG has invested $2.2 million in agronomic research in the Birchip area and currently has $1 million in research projects pending approval.

"The BCG is delighted to enter into this vital partnership with the Commonwealth Bank Group, which has been formulated in the interest of growing the relationship for the long-term," said BCG Chairman, Ian McClelland. "The Group’s financial support will be used to facilitate greater industry awareness of the latest research and trial results – a critical means of developing leadership and performance in our industry."

The Commonwealth Bank Group’s Chief Manager Agribusiness, Steve Morgan, said that the partnership would deliver a number of significant benefits to the Group and the BCG.

"Initially it will engender a mutual transfer of information and knowledge," said Mr Morgan. "The agreement has been developed in the interests of growing the relationship for the long-term. With this intention, the Bank will undertake to:

  • assist farmer-led research which underpins long term production and business viability,
  • enhance the expertise of the Group’s rural staff by giving both sales and credit staff a greater understanding of the cropping industry and its issues,
  • attend field days and conferences throughout the year,
  • develop close working relationships with leading grain producers."

"The Commonwealth Bank Group understands the importance of the Agribusiness industry and is seeking to support farmers to share best practice in the areas of technology, productivity and profitability, " Mr Morgan said. "As well, we aim to enhance the expertise of our rural staff by giving them a greater understanding of key industry issues."

Over the past two years the Commonwealth Bank Group has launched a series of services designed specifically for Agribusiness. Based on its AgriOptions package the Group has further customised financial facilities to meet the needs of the grain, cotton and dairy industries. In recognition of its efforts the Commonwealth Bank Group has been named Agribusiness Bank of the Year (Personal Investment Magazine) for two years running.