CBH Group celebrates 90-year milestone

19 April 20233 min reading

Co-operative Bulk Handling Limited was founded during the Great Depression on 5 April 1933, through the realisation that a cost-effective and efficient bulk handling system would reduce growers' costs and strengthen the then struggling wheat industry. 

Established by the trustees of the Wheat Pool of WA and Wesfarmers Ltd, the co-operative was formed on the principles of equality.  Since then, CBH has grown from humble roots with just five trial sites in Benjabbering, Nembudding, Korrelocking, Yelbeni and Trayning, to over 100 receival sites, making it one of the largest and most efficient grain supply chains in the world. 

Over those 90 years, WA grain growers and CBH have overcome wars, floods, droughts, pest infestations, cyclones, frost, unpredictable harvests and pandemics. The industry has also made significant advancements in safety, agronomy and technology including mechanisation and automation, developed improved road systems and infrastructure, established strong customer relationships, and celebrated incredible wins including the recent record harvests. 

Despite the highs and lows, CBH's purpose has always remained the same; to sustainably create and return value to WA growers, current and future.  CBH Chair, Simon Stead said the co-operative has a long and proud history. “It is an honour to be celebrating such a significant milestone - one that represents a rich history and demonstrates the resilience and strength of WA grain growers,” Mr Stead said. “Today, we pay tribute to the wisdom of those early pioneers of CBH who sought out to reduce growers' costs and strengthen the grains industry. They laid strong foundations on which succeeding generations have been able to build and continue the legacy on. As we head to our centenary in 2033, we are confident that our co-operative structure will continue to remain strong and sustainable for the years ahead.”

CBH Chief Executive Officer Ben Macnamara said that the co-operative is incredibly proud to have been in operation for 90 years and its success is a testament to WA growers and CBH employees. “Today, we celebrate WA grain growers, both past, current and future and also recognise the many people that have worked at this co-operative over the past 90 years,” Mr Macnamara said. “Our employees have played a crucial role in getting us to where we are today, from enhancing our supply chain, establishing key relationships with industry, government and international customers, to developing new markets. CBH has continued to evolve, innovate and grow to become Australia's largest co-operative, biggest grain exporter and one of the country's largest agribusinesses. As we look towards our centenary in 2033, we are committed to continuing to sustainably creating and returning value to WA growers.”

Today, CBH has around 3,500 grain growing businesses as members and is the only major participant in the Australian grain industry that is owned by growers. With four ports, its own rail fleet, a fertiliser business and investments in end processing, CBH’s integrated supply chain continues to generate value for grower members along every step.

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