Quality and hygiene

Grain is a food product, whether for animal or human consumption. Food safety and quality is of critical importance to the Australian grain industry and we are committed to providing a high standard of consistent, quality products and services to meet our customer and regulatory requirements.

Nil tolerance for contaminants

All domestic and export markets for Australia's grain have a low or nil tolerance level for chemical residues and contaminants.

Growers play a critical role in protecting the reputation of the Australian grain industry.

Managing chemical residues

At all times growers should adhere to:

■      withholding periods
■      label instructions
■      application rates
■      safe operating procedures

It is critical that only registered/approved chemicals are used on crops and any chemicals applied are appropriately declared when delivering grain.

Viterra monitors delivered grain for chemical residues to ensure market access is not affected. Government regulators may investigate incidents where grain is found to have chemical levels above Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs).

Growers can find out the current Australian MRLs by visiting the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website, apvma.gov.au. International MRLs are set by various bodies and information on MRLs for overseas markets can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website, agriculture.gov.au 

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has approved a permit that allows the use of glyphosate on barley (except malting barley) from 2 November 2016. Go to Classification for more information. 

Managing contaminants

Are you delivering grain free of contaminants and residues? Read more here.

To maintain grain quality and market access Viterra has a nil tolerance for:

■      fertiliser
■      pickled/treated grain/artificial colouring
■      live stored grain insects
■      any chemical NOT approved
■      rodent/snail bait
■      glass or brittle plastic
■      live or dead rodents
■      toxic and corrosive materials

All equipment used for holding, transferring and carrying grain must be inspected and cleaned prior to use.

Particular attention should be paid to augers, bins and harvesters that may not have been used for some time and therefore might contain traces of old or pickled grain, fertiliser (especially with the additive Flutriafol) or rodent control measures.


Growers need to be aware that:

■     if a contaminant is detected at classification the load will be declined.

■     if a contaminant is detected whilst a load is discharging, the grower will be financially liable for any contamination of stock in storage being unloaded into, any stock replacement, cleaning and other associated costs. Viterra will, where possible, work with growers to mitigate losses and reduce the impact of the contamination on all parties.

For a full list of contaminants in line with receival standards see ezigrain.com.au.

Vehicle hygiene

Ensure any vehicle that is carrying grain meets the required cleanliness standards as per the Prior Load Matrix.

Growers using carriers must ensure the carrier's truck is clean before loading the grain as growers are accountable for the delivery of grain.

The Prior Load Matrix outlines the correct procedures for cleaning your vehicle to the acceptable standards, in line with what has previously been carried in that vehicle.

The matrix covers vehicles carting bulk grain (food), feed based products and dry bulk materials handled by Viterra.

Vehicles must be fit for purpose and presented clean upon arrival. Vehicles and tarpaulins that are not cleaned or free of contaminants will not be loaded or loads could be declined.

If site employees have concerns with any declared prior loads (i.e. residue in the vehicle does not match any type of loads declared), they can request proof of the last three prior loads.

Growers should also refer to Viterra's Road Vehicle Hygiene Requirements .