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AWB Limited

AWB Limited
Company nameAWB Limited
Company typeSubsidiary
Founded1 July 1999
HeadquartersMelbourne, Australia
Key peopleGordon Davis, Managing Director

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AWB Limited is a major grain marketing organisation based in Australia. It was a government body known as the Australian Wheat Board until 1 July 1999, when the AWB was transformed into a private company, owned by wheat growers. In 2010, AWB was acquired by the Canadian firm Agrium.

AWB has been the subject of controversy in the mid 2000s, amid revelations that the company paid kickbacks to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. These revelations and the subsequent Cole Inquiry have resulted in litigation being brought against former executives of AWB, some of which is still in progress.

AWB exports "into more than 50 countries, with Australian wheat exports worth up to $5 billion per year" (AWB 2006). AWB had veto power over any other prospective exporters of wheat, which effectively eliminated competition on the export market for Australian wheat, thereby capturing freight differentials. Exports are typically managed through commodity pools, which are managed investment schemes. The beneficial interest in the export grain is distributed to participants in the commodity pool.

AWB has three core divisions - Rural Services, Financial Services and Commodity Management (which includes the National Pool). Rural Services and Financial Services offer products and services through the Landmark network, a 430 store retail distribution business serving rural Australia. Commodity management provides grain products to global customers with offices in Australia, Singapore, Tokyo, China, India, Geneva and Brazil.

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