AUSTRALIAN grain producers have donated more than $40,000 to four nominated charities to support Ukraine farmers and rural communities with their long-term recovery from war.
The #AUSSIEGRAIN4UKRAINE initiative was established to give Australian growers a way of supporting Ukraine growers and farming communities facing unimaginable atrocities and disruption to their lives due to Russia’s invasion of their country last year.
Grain Producers Australia’s farmer sub-committee member and WA grain producer David Fulwood thanked all growers who have donated some of their grain to help the national fundraising appeal.
“We’ve raised about $41,000 in total from selling about 90 tonnes of grain that was donated by Australian growers from last year’s harvest,” Mr Fulwood said.
“This initiative was established to achieve two key outcomes and we’ve met these goals.”
The first was to raise awareness and provide moral support for people in the Ukraine by letting them know they have the backing of Australian farmers and rural communities, and the second has been to raise funds.
“We’ve also asked growers to donate grain which we’ve now sold and the funds we’ve raised will now go towards long-term recovery efforts to help rebuild communities impacted by war.”
Fellow sub-committee member and WA grain producer Simon Wallwork said the funding would be split four ways and donated to the nominate charities.
“Thanks to everyone who has helped along the way; whether it’s covering this story in the media or sharing on social media, the growers who donated and other sub-committee members,” Mr Wallwork said.
“We’ve had two record harvests in Australia and whilst we’ve faced our own challenges with flooding, serious road damage, supply chain delays, mouse plagues and record input costs, none of it compares to what our farming cousins are going through in the Ukraine.”
Given the war is continuing, GPA chief executive Colin Bettles said the facility would remain open for growers who wanted to donate grain in future.
“The sub-committee felt it was prudent to sell the grain donated form last harvest and after basic costs such as freight, donate the funds we’ve raised so far to the four dominated charities,” Mr Bettles said.
“Whilst we’d prefer the war was over, any growers who still want to show their support for people in the Ukraine can still make a donation.”
GPA has thanked Mr Fulwood, Mr Wallwork and their fellow sub-committee members James Stacey, Brad Jones and Andrew Whitelaw for their contribution and everyone who has helped out; especially the growers who’ve donated grain to this cause.
“We’d also especially like to thank Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, for his support and recognition for what we’ve been doing, to support his people at this time.”
Four charities have been nominated by the sub-committee to deliver this humanitarian support.
- UN Crisis Relief’s Ukraine Humanitarian Fund;
- World Vision Ukraine Appeal;
- World to Rebuild Rural Ukraine program; and,
- Oxfam International.