Our History

GrainCorp has a long, rich history beginning in 1916 with Australia receiving rain after a five-year drought.

Originally part of the New South Wales Government's Department of Agriculture, GrainCorp was established as the Grain Elevators Board during a time of change a bulk grain terminal had been proposed for Sydney at the turn of the century when workers were manually bagging grain. The NSW Legislative Assembly could not see that bulk grain export would be an area of growth in Australia.

 

Fortunately, in 1917 Canadian architect J.S. Metcalf was contracted to design a terminal in the Sydney suburb of Glebe. By 1918 Metcalf had completed the design and building of our first elevator in Peak Hill, 50 km north of Parkes (NSW).

 

The Sydney bulk grain terminal, Australia's first, was completed in 1922 and comprised of 140 round and inter-space bins costing over £1 million (approx. $55 million in today’s terms). It was money well spent and the beginning of building GrainCorp’s infrastructure that gives us the great advantage we have as a grain-handling network today.

 

In 1939, after a period of global oversupply of wheat and depressed prices, the Australian Wheat Board was founded. It held a monopoly on wheat exporting for the next 60 years. After a name change in the mid-1980s from Grain Elevators Board to Grain Handling Authority, and the passing of the NSW Grain Corporation Act, the company became one of the first government organisations to be privatised in Australia. It sold for $100 million and in 1992 the company became GrainCorp.

In 1996, when the Marketing business was established, GrainCorp became the first bulk handler to trade grain within Australia, moving away from the price monopoly of government entities. Two years later, GrainCorp listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

 

The new millennium brought with it a period of acquisition, cementing GrainCorp's position as Australia’s leading grain handler: Vicgrain (Victoria) was acquired in 2000, Grainco (Queensland) in 2003 and Hunter Grain in 2007.

 

In 2002 GrainCorp entered into a joint venture with US agribusiness Cargill to purchase Allied Mills expanding its presence along the grain chain, including production and processing. This saw the start of our bakery products and milling businesses.

 

With 2008 came the full deregulation of the wheat market in Australia with the removal of the single wheat desk. GrainCorp now trades grain internationally in its own right, with the Marketing arm of the business operating in Australia, Europe, the UK and North America.

 

The next strategic acquisition came in 2009, with the purchase of United Malt Holdings to form GrainCorp Malt. This grew GrainCorp into an international agribusiness and further diversified its operations into grain processing.

 

The acquisition of the German Schill Malz in 2011 well placed GrainCorp to serve European and export customers. A malt plant was also acquired in Western Australia in 2011, expanding our Australian operations to the west coast.

 

Today, GrainCorp owns the largest network of regional storage sites in eastern Australia - with a total storage capacity of over 20 million tonnes (mmt). This is supported by annual rail capacity exceeding 4 million tonnes, linked to GrainCorp's 7 bulk export terminals.

 

GrainCorp's 7 bulk grain ports on the eastern seaboard, make the company the largest exporter of bulk grain from eastern Australia.

 

A further 1 million tonnes of road transport is managed annually, and the Ports elevate an average of 5 million tonnes of grain and up to 1.5 million tonnes of non-grain commodities annually.

 

GrainCorp Marketing buys and sells more than 4.5 million tonnes of wheat, barley, sorghum and canola per year, servicing both customers locally and internationally.

 

GrainCorp Malt is one of the world's largest commercial malt producers, producing over 1 million tonnes of high quality and specialty malts annually for some of the world's leading brewers and distillers, as well as the emerging craft brew market.

 

 

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