The Rice Growers Association of Australia (RGA) have passed a motion to support rice vesting and its continuation in its current form in response to a review being undertaken by the Department of Primary industries.
According to the Rice Marketing Act of 1983, all rice grown in NSW is to be absolutely vested in and be the property of the Rice Marketing Board for the State of NSW.
As a result of the deregulation of domestic sales in 2006, the board has also since been able to issue Authorised Buyers licenses with no prescribed limit, for interested parties to sell NSW grown rice in the domestic market.
This means that authorised buyers like SunRice have since paid fixed and variable annual fees to the Board to retain their licenses.
According to Graeme Kruger, Executive Director of the RGA, the benefits of vesting as a whole, outweigh the costs.
"These benefits, and in particular the realisation of price premiums for growers, can only be achieved by restricting export competition," Mr Kruger said.
The last review occurred in 2016, and recommended that vesting continue until at June 30 2022.
"The way our rice is marketed in the state of NSW is reviewed every five years," RGA President Rob Massina said.
"This review is put in place to understand the benefits to our communities, economies and growers."
According to Mr Massina, the RGA supported vesting based on an analysis of current arrangements.
"We have identified no loss of competition in the domestic market while providing net benefits to growers, their communities and the industry," Mr Massina said.
"These benefits, and in particular the realisation of price premiums for growers, can only be achieved by restricting export competition."
In conjunction with SunRice, the RGA is also hosting a range of business and community facing events across the Riverina to discuss the importance of vesting, calling on all growers and the wider community to participate in the review and make a submission.
"We want to make sure our members and growers are engaged in this process and that the way rice is marketed in NSW is done in the right way by the wishes of our growers and our members," Mr Massina said.
"We encourage you to be part of this process."
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