A new study by Flinders University has found Viterra contributed $4.6 billion to the South Australian economy between 2011 and 2019 and directly employed close to 1000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs each year.
The Economic Impact Assessment of Viterra Operations in South Australian Regions, 2011-2019, covered a nine-year period and was carried out by the University’s Australian Industrial Transformation Institute.
The study’s authors, including Flinders University Professor John Spoehr, concluded the grain storage and handling company’s contribution to South Australia’s regional economies was significant, amounting to $1.8 billion in the regions as part of the overall $4.6 billion contribution (Gross State Product, 2019 dollars).
“The importance of Viterra’s operations to regional South Australian economies cannot be overstated,” Professor Spoehr says.
“Analysis of local council areas over this period showed a significant contribution to local economies including $227.5 million to Port Lincoln, $167 million to the Copper Coast and $162 million to the Yorke Peninsula.”
The study found Viterra, as a major company servicing the grain industry, was also a committed local employer providing hundreds of jobs across regional South Australia.
Across the state, Viterra employs around 1500 seasonal workers each year in addition to its 700 strong permanent workforce.
“On average annually for the nine-year period to 2019, Viterra directly employed 943 FTE workers rising to 2,546 FTE when indirect employment was included,” Professor Spoehr says.
Viterra Regional Director Australia and New Zealand Tim Krause says the latest research confirms Viterra’s long-term commitment to South Australia and its significant contribution to the grain industry.
“The company is proud to be heavily invested in the local economy and a strong supporter of regional communities, where most of our employees live and work,” Mr Krause says.
“Viterra uses local contractors and suppliers for its capital and maintenance projects wherever possible, which provide flow-on contributions for local businesses and communities.
“We are demonstrating the supply chain is working well in supporting our local economies, while achieving consistently high standards of quality, safety, reliability and sustainability for our customers,” he says.
In the state’s south-east, Bordertown café manager Kim Steuart says they’ve formed a great business connection with Viterra over the past eight years.
“At Café La Vie, we’re the local food caterer for the company year-round and our orders increase significantly during the annual harvest season,” Ms Steuart says.
“Having ongoing support from Viterra boosts our business and we’re really grateful for their support.”
Professor Spoehr says local companies see Viterra as highly significant to local economies, both as a major driver of regional employment and by supporting a thriving grain industry ecosystem in South Australia.
“Numerous businesses have experienced growth and expanded their own workforce as a consequence of their role as suppliers to Viterra,” Professor Spoehr says.
“We know that Viterra has a diverse supplier base, ranging in size and nature of services provided – some are family owned and operated companies, while others are ASX listed companies.
“Companies have told us they place a high value on the business opportunities provided by Viterra, in terms of revenue flow, strategic partnering and leveraging other opportunities and relationships.”
In the 2019/20 harvest, nearly 4 million tonnes were delivered into Viterra sites with the grain then outturned to domestic and export customers. Viterra is now well progressed in preparing for the 2020/21 harvest ahead.
“Working closely with employees, growers, buyers and end users is the key to our success which has resulted in improved efficiencies, increased value back to growers and improved safety performance,” Mr Krause says.