THE HARD part for burgeoning grain businesses is finding their right fit in the market.
Many manage to grow their business, but find consolidation a tough prospect in such a competitive environment as Australia’s industry.
With this in mind, Angela Greenhalgh, the boss of Dubbo-based grains business Grainpro, made the conscious decision to keep the company manageable rather than focusing on growth at all costs.
She said the company now focused on niche opportunities in particular.
“We’re a little fish in a big pond, and we generally like to focus on the more niche commodities that the big guys aren’t as involved in.”
With this in mind, she said Grainpro was a strong competitor in commodities such as faba beans, lupins and birdseeds.
The company’s footprint remains firmly in NSW’s Central West, although Ms Greenhalgh said they were also buying reasonable tonnages out of the Riverina and Victorian Mallee.
She said the company placed a strong emphasis on inter-personal relationships and liked to have representation on the ground.
“For all the changes in the grains sector, we think it is still built fundamentally on inter-personal relationships and trust.”
Ms Greenhalgh said she taken the decision to set Grainpro up seven years ago, following her departure from a business that couldn’t pay suppliers on time.
“I did not want to have the responsibility of running a business where people did not get paid, so I decided to make payment security a key concern with the new business.
“A few growers followed me across when I started Grainpro and we’ve been ticking along ever since.”
The business model has changed over the journey. Initially the company was purely in grain trading, before expanding and operating a 50,000 tonne storage site, but that is now leased out.
“We focus on our grain trading now, rather than doing too many things.”
Along with the pulses and millet, Ms Greenhalgh said Grainpro was involved in the cereal market where it supplied grain to the stock feed sector.