KCGO and BDCG representatives and solicitor met separately with Wilmar and later with QSL and their respective legal representatives yesterday in Brisbane in an attempt to further the conclusion of a CSA and Forward Pricing arrangements for 2017 and beyond.
Unfortunately while the meetings were cordial and frank, and there was acknowledgement of other parties concerns and interests, and pronouncements of reasonableness and acting in good faith, etc none of the parties have relinquished their previously stated positions.
Wilmar, that their construction of agreements and corporate structure in CSA, Forward Pricing and On-supply is commercially appropriate and meets the requirements of the Act and that they have compromised their offer to QSL in recognition of growers support of QSL, and that whilst understanding why growers would be interested in the On-supply arrangements, there is no obligation or right for growers to be a party to that agreement.
QSL, that Wilmar’s offer was not commercially acceptable even though they were now being offered title to the sugar on delivery at the shed because of other terms being imposed and that they cannot operate a Forward Pricing business under such terms.
We asked both to drop the veil of “confidentiality” that makes it impossible for growers and their representatives to know whether the growers position is being compromised by the terms of the On-supply agreement. The responses were sympathetic but without commitment to do so.
The legal positions remain Wilmar is not agreeing to BDCG’s agreement, BDCG is not agreeing to Wilmar’s and determination of a prevailing document through which to dispute terms and conclude an agreement seems only able to be resolved by arbitration. QSL’s position to drive an acceptable On-supply agreement is without a strong legal basis because the Act is not precise about the nature, rights or obligations of the On-supply agreement
We will seek ACCC Authorisation to try to overcome Wilmar’s objection to us collectively bargaining on non-milling aspects of the agreements, and have encouraged QSL to press on with developing its Forward Pricing Agreements even in the absence of an On-supply agreement.
So unfortunately for any member who needs to Forward Price at the moment with anyone else than Wilmar there is no opportunity. For those who will accept Wilmar as their marketing agent, there still is no collective agreement, only an individual agreement. Anyone considering going down that path is welcome to come and discuss it with me.
David Rutledge (KCGO Executive Manager/Company Secretary)