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2018 European Grains Tour Highlights

Recap Rabobank’s two-week grains tour of EU and the Black Sea region with growers from Australia.

2018 European Grains Tour Highlights 

Rabobanks’ 2018 Grains Tour of the EU and Black Sea region enabled leading Australian and New Zealand grain growers to share knowledge with progressive European farmers.  The group gained valuable  insights into the supply chain dynamics that was influencing global trade and took  a closer look at grain processing operations, major ports, agri-chemical suppliers, machinery manufacturers and grain marketers.

During the two-week tour of the Netherlands, Germany and Ukraine, European businesses shared their know-how on driving efficiency gains, increasing  production and improved profitability – providing the impetus for touring growers to challenge their own farming practices and methods.

The tour also allowed them to assess any perceived threats posed by Australia’s European competitors, especially the Ukraine.

In particular, the growers returned from the tour with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of:

  • World leading technology such as the most advanced seed, pest and nutrition initiatives
  • Global marketing approaches and expertise, such as the way farmers in the EU and Ukraine price their grain
  • Black Sea region wheat production systems and businesses
  • Grains processing and manufacture of protein, bi-products and new energy
  • Environmental considerations for sustainability, soil quality and stable ecosystems
  • Large scale cropping and developments in export infrastructure

The growers were able to see for themselves the potential, and competitive advantage, of the Black Sea region which is rising in influence in global markets – growing its global wheat trade from less than 10 per cent in the early 2000s to around 40 per cent today.

Testimonials from the tour 

Armed with such knowledge, local growers are better placed to respond to the challenge raised by the increasing volume of grains and oilseeds exports from the Ukraine, which make it potentially one of Australia’s greatest production competitors.

The touring growers came away with a much better understanding of the competition they are facing, drawing comments such as:

“The tour was an opportunity to see for ourselves what Australia’s European competitors were doing and what kind of threat they posed.  There is a lot to keep an eye on, particularly Ukraine and Russia.  They are an enormous threat in terms of the sheer quantity of wheat they produce in Ukraine and the potential in Russia.

And  “I am very interested in the Ukraine and wanted to see if they are a competitor to us.  I walked away thinking they are a competitor at this stage, but a possible threat in the future.

The tour also provided an ideal environment for the farmers to strengthen their networks both locally and globally, as demonstrated by comments like:

“The knowledge of our fellow farmers and the Rabo staff combined to make this an intense learning experience.”

And  “The access we were given to farming businesses that we would never have had if  we were travelling in a private capacity”

Get the latest on the European Grains Tour

Contact Nerida Sweetapple, Head of Knowledge and Networks, Rabobank, for more information.

Black Sea and Surrounding Regions

Since early 2000's Black Sea origin wheat has grown – from comprising less than 10% to making up to 25% of global grain markets. For Australia, the volume and price of Black Sea origin wheat in Australia’s traditional and major markets in South-East Asia has been a cause for concern.

Get the full RaboResearch report on “The Brass Tacks of the Black Sea Wheat Challenge”.

Global Experiences & Networks 

As the world’s leading bank for food & agribusiness, Rabobank has networks across the globe. We can open gates into almost any farming community and agribusiness industry. Rabobank’s knowledge tours focus on engaging with farmers and the leading agri firms around the globe – learning firsthand about the innovation and technology driving this sector.

Ask your Rabobank manager today about our Knowledge Tours.