How was GPSA formed?
Grain Producers SA was formed in March 2012. GPSA advocates for growers on grains issues, taking over the work of the former SA Farmer Federation Grains Committee. The difference between the two is that GPSA is an advocacy group in its own right with autonomy to make decisions on policy and project work in the best interests of grain producers. GPSA has a board of seven directors who are grain producers from across the state. Producers who are GPSA members can vote for people to represent them on the board.
How is GPSA funded?
The Primary Industry Funding Scheme Grain 2012 came into effect on 1 March 2012, with the initial rate of 5 cents per tonne of grain. Through consultation with growers and the industry, the contribution rate for PIFS Grain was increased to 20 cents per tonne, starting from the 2012-13 harvest. This occurred to provide a sustainable and secure source of funding to represent South Australian grain producers both locally and nationally.
What does GPSA do for grain growers?
GPSA represents producers to all levels of government – local, state and federal – the community and industry, including grain marketers, exporters, storage and handlers, researchers and farm input suppliers.
Growers can contact GPSA at any time. Some growers contact GPSA because they have an individual issue affecting their farm and would like the organisation to make enquiries on their behalf while other growers want to have their say on GPSA policies.
How much involvement do growers need to have with GPSA?
Growers can have as much or as little involvement with GPSA as they like. At a minimum, GPSA asks that growers become members. This means GPSA can inform growers on issues that may affect them and their businesses and advise how levy money is being spent.
GPSA encourages input from its members in a number of ways, such as:
- Contributing to policy development.
- Attending the annual general meeting and regional grower forums.
- Advising GPSA of a regional issue or potential project.
- Voting on who represents growers on the GPSA board.
- Talking to neighbours who may not have heard about GPSA’s work.
- Provide feedback on GPSA communications and activities.
What interaction does GPSA have with the South Australian Government?
Levies from grain growers are contributed under legislation through the Primary Industries Funding Scheme Grains 2012 (PIFS Grain). The South Australian Minister for Agriculture is responsible for the management of growers’ money collected under the scheme. As a result, GPSA provides a quarterly report to the Minister on how money received from growers through the fund is spent.
GPSA meets regularly with various government departments to communicate growers’ views on policy changes or advise how a new law or regulation could impact the grains industry. GPSA completes a management plan which outlines how the PIFS Grain money will be spent and reports to the Minister on how money is being used.
How does GPSA govern how growers’ money is spent?
GPSA has an Audit & Finance Committee chaired by director Mark Schilling. Chairman Garry Hansen and chief executive Darren Arney form the remainder of the committee. The committee meets in line with board meetings to oversee the financial and reporting operations and obligations of the organisation. The GPSA Audit & Finance Committee operates under its own Terms of Reference.