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Drew Braithwaite. 2016 Scholarship winner

Drew Braithwaite. 2016 Scholarship winner

Drew Braithwaite, from Griffith in New South Wales, has received a Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship supported by RIRDC’s Rice R&D Program.

He will investigate the importance and value of Sunrice’s strong consumer brands to the rice industry and investigate if access to other pricing options like hedging products, would be a better option to optimise returns to rice growers. Hence brand versus hedging when it comes to increasing value to a commodity.

Drew and his wife Abby farm in conjunction with Drew’s parent’s (Ian and Colleen) on their 1100-hectare irrigated mixed cropping enterprise in the Riverina and plant 300-hectares to rice each year.

He says there are not many innovative selling options available for rice and more research is needed into the value of hedging products, such as fixed contracts, SWAPS and options for the Australian rice industry.

“I will also look at the importance, costs and benefits of developing a strong consumer brand for rice and whether this will boost returns for producers,” he says.

Drew says he hopes his research will help him better understand rice marketing and identify the potential value of having new marketing products for Australian rice producers.

He will travel to Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the United States.

RIRDC’s Rice R&D Program is pleased to support Drew Braithwaite as a 2016 Nuffield Scholar.

The organisation said it’s a valuable investment in the growth of agriculture in New South Wales alongside Nuffield Australia, which is at the forefront of developing future industry leaders.

Nuffield Australia chief executive officer Jim Geltch said Nuffield now boasted more than 350 scholars in Australia who, through their scholarship global study tours, had significant insight into global agricultural production systems.

“We are building capacity for the nation’s food and fibre industries to be world leaders in the adoption of technology, best practice and innovation,” he said.

“Nuffield Scholars are influencing industry and community changes, resulting in agricultural productivity increases and economic development for rural communities.

“The Nuffield experience adds new dimensions to the way scholars think about the economic, environmental and social aspects of global food production.

“Engagement and investment in capacity building and talent development in agriculture is critical as the global population continues to escalate and the amount of land available for food production shrinks.”

Scholars undertake a 16-week program of group and individual travel.

Global Focus Program tours will visit several countries in March/April or June/July 2016, including New Zealand, Brazil, the United States of America, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Kenya, Eastern Europe, Singapore, India, Qatar, Turkey, France, the Philippines, China, Canada or Ireland (itineraries will vary between groups).

Applications for Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships open in April each year to Australian primary producers and managers who seek to research a topic important to them and to Australian agriculture.

Drew is available to talk about his planned travel and can be contacted on:

Phone: 0427 634 232 Email: dbraith@me.com

Media contact:
Justine Mackay, Cox Inall Communications
P: 0435 325 954; E: justinem@coxinall.com.au

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