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We are closely monitoring and responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it continues to evolve. We are following advice and protocols from federal and state government authorities, and activating response plans in our offices and along our supply chains. This includes upcountry sites and port terminals. Our highest priority is to protect the health and safety of our people and the communities in which we operate, including our customers and suppliers.

We have put in place measures at all our sites to manage the health and wellbeing of our employees and the broader community. These measures are also designed to ensure business continuity, and being able to operate our supply chains to meet the needs of our grower and buyer customers during this period.

To ensure we continue to operate safely and minimise the risk of virus exposure, we have implemented a number of measures aligned with government guidelines which include:

COVID-19 measures for employees

  • We are restricting all non-essential business travel.
  • We are minimising face-to-face meetings.
  • Employees are working from home where possible.
  • Where it is not possible for employees to work from home, appropriate measures have been put in place such as social distancing, personal hygiene and cleaning of work areas and equipment.
  • We are providing regular updates with information and support.

COVID-19 measures for visitors, contractors and carriers

  • We are restricting visitors to offices and sites to those who need to physically make or collect deliveries or carry out work.
  • We have visitor advice notices displayed at entrances to offices and sites of processes to follow.
  • We are working closely with our suppliers and business partners, such as logistics partners, as providers of important services to Viterra and our customers to understand how they are managing their own COVID-19 measures and continuity of services.
  • Contractors and carriers can continue to undertake work provided they have not returned from international or interstate travel in the last 14 days (with the exception of essential service freight and logistics travel) and are not unwell.
  • We have provided specific advice to carriers on measures in place at sites, including to follow individual site protocols and directions from employees which may include restrictions on access to classification offices.

If you have any questions, please contact your local Operations Manager.

Continuity of our services

We are continuing to operate our supply chain and provide services to meet our grower and buyer customer needs during this period. Growers’ ability to sell, transfer and outturn grain remains the same.

If you need assistance to transfer your grain, please contact the Viterra Service Centre or to outturn your grain, please contact your local regional office.

Our operations and grain movements continue

The agriculture industry, food supply chain and our business as part of that, has been identified as an essential service that needs to keep operating through the pandemic response. We are taking our responsibility of balancing the needs of our operations, our role in the food supply chain and the health and safety of our people and communities very seriously.

The movement of grain through our network has continued at a consistently fast pace as we meet strong domestic and international demand for South Australian grain. We are outturning by road, rail and vessels as we continue to work with buyers to make it as easy as possible for them to access their grain in the Viterra system.

We have around 40 buyers within the Viterra system. We have outturned more than 2.5 million tonnes of all commodities since 1 October last year. In the past two weeks, we loaded our second 100 wagon train at Gladstone, Snowtown and Crystal Brook, and a further ten domestic customer trains. We also loaded vessels at Outer Harbor, Port Lincoln and Wallaroo and continued to facilitate road movements to several destinations.

If you have any questions, please contact your local Operations Manager.

Publishing stock on hand

We are now publishing our stock on hand report on the Viterra website. The stock on hand report was already being published each month in Ezigrain for Viterra’s grower and buyer customers to access.

Viterra is releasing this information to help buyer customers and end users manage their ongoing supply requirements given the current environment of two consecutive years of drought and potential pressure on supply chains. The report will be released publically for an indefinite period of time.

The stock on hand report details barley (malt and other barley) and wheat (APW, ASW, hard and other wheat) and represents stock held by all owners in the Viterra system. It reports the monthly stock on hand figures since 1 October 2019 and shows the monthly draw down of these commodities.

Viterra’s stock on hand report is available on the News section of the Viterra website and will be updated as soon as practical after the first of each month.

Continuing preparations for the 2020/21 harvest

We are continuing our preparations for the 2020/21 harvest. Following our post harvest survey and review, we held meetings with strategic site committee chairs to obtain post harvest feedback on our operations. Where meetings were not able to take place we will seek alternative ways of engaging with grower representatives.

In early March, we released our preliminary segregation plan which growers are encouraged to provide feedback on to their regional office. Among the changes introduced, Viterra is:

  • opening the local delivery line for all pulses at Inner Harbour to allow all growers to deliver directly into the site and
  • removing the local grower delivery line at Wallaroo to allow all growers to deliver directly into the site.

We are progressing our site clearance and preventative maintenance plans and our capital works projects in preparation for harvest receivals.

We will release our planting survey in the coming months to seek feedback from growers so segregations can be matched to what is being grown in different areas.

We have opened our harvest recruitment for 2020/21 roles, anyone interested can find more information or apply on our harvest jobs page. We expect to recruit more seasonal workers than the usual 1500 this year due to the more positive outlook for the season.

Given the current situation, we will continue to review our preparations and planning and identify any changes required to ensure our network can continue to operate efficiently in receiving growers’ grain during harvest.

If you have any questions regarding harvest operations, please contact your local Operations Manager.