GRAIN Trade Australia (GTA) has released updated operating standards for grain pool providers as part of a review of its Australian Grains Industry Code of Practice (COP).
“This is all about ensuring confidence in our industry. These operating standards for pool providers are about improving the pool participants’ experience and confidence in these types of marketing products,” GTA CEO, Pat O’Shannassy, said.
“The revised operating standards will help to define the responsibilities of pool providers and also help growers to understand and compare different pool products available in the market.
Included as part of the revised operating standards is a new Pool Product Disclosure Guide (PPDG) that pool providers will be required to provide as part of offering a pool product.
“The revised pool operating standards and new pool product disclosure guide are important parts of the industry’s self-regulatory framework, which is underpinned by many of the products and services, including the COP, provided by GTA to the broader grains industry,” Mr O’Shannassy said.
“Pool providers who offer pool products must adhere to the operating standards as part of the Australian Grain Industry Code of Practice. All GTA members are required to adhere to the COP and to the revised pool standards.
“Our understanding is that all current grain pool providers in Australia are members of GTA and consequently must adhere to COP.”.
Industry working group
Mr O’Shannassy said GTA had commissioned an industry working group to review the operating standards.
The working group comprised a cross section of industry including pool operators, production sector, traders and marketers, marketing advisors and risk management consultants and independent analysts.
“The working group spent considerable time working to improve the operating standards by focusing on the terms and definitions used in describing pool products; ensuring clarity and transparency of costs, such as where pool providers choose to publish estimated pool returns; and also ensuring products can be readily compared by growers and that all relevant risks are described and disclosed,” Mr O’Shannassy said.
“The working group was also very clear that a pool provider’s first and foremost responsibility is to the pool participants.”
The operating standards document for grain pool providers is available on the GTA website www.graintrade.org.au