Our Corporate Communications staff spend time getting to know Sumitomo Corporation's different business sites around the world, reporting on how the people at those sites work. We will keep you up to date with the world of Sumitomo Corporation, which extends to every corner of the globe.
Corporate Communications Department
Since joining the company in 2009, Rumi has been dealing with the mass media and presenting interesting information as a person with responsibility for reporting about the General Products & Real Estate Business Unit and about personnel affairs. Her hobby is traveling and spending time with animals; she has visited thirty countries across the world and has spent over a hundred hours on a horse. Her future dream is to walk a lion cub in Kruger National Park in South Africa, thereby doing both of her favorite things at the same time.
Emerald Group Australia Pty. Ltd. (“Emerald”), which is an affiliate of Sumitomo Corporation, became the parent company of ABA in February 2012. This company has its head office in Melbourne, the second largest city in Australia after Sydney, and operates 15 bases across the country, including partners’ bases, to purchase and collect crops from farmers for sale. We visited the head office of Emerald on the day after we left Wagga Wagga and were welcomed by the 86 employees. At Emerald, the number of employees has increased by 70% since 2010.
Chairman Alan Winney of Emerald (far right) says, “We have been successfully cooperating with Sumitomo Corporation despite the cultural differences. “ (The person in the center of the photo is Executive Director Hideki Hijiya and the person on the far left is Manager Masaki Sakamoto of Sumitomo Australia).
Emerald has two distinctive features. The first feature is “future-oriented flexible management.” The company received investment and accepted directors from Sumitomo Corporation in 2010 and made ABA its own subsidiary early in 2012. The company is rapidly growing through continual innovation. Alan Winney, chairman of the company said, “In order to build a strong position in the highly competitive grain industry and achieve sustainable growth, it is essential for us to secure business channels across national boundaries and have a supply chain including logistics companies. We wanted to find a reliable partner for our global business development and to build up an excellent infrastructure for the business.” Because the leader of the company had both foresight and an innovative mind, the young company, which was only founded in 2004, has become a key player in the industry.
The second feature of the company is that it is implementing a unique “pool” system to collect grain from farmers, in addition to purchasing grain from them at the prevailing market price on the date of trade. In the pool system, Emerald becomes the owners of the crops when farmers bring them in to the silo of an affiliated storage company, such as ABA. However, payment is not made at that time. Emerald sells the crops on the market according to the prices offered. In other words, Emerald decides on the prices for the farmers and reimburses them over a period which is longer than one year. This is “management of grain,” for which farmers pay predefined fees to Emerald and receive the money for the crops depending on market prices throughout the year. This system enables farmers who have produced good crops to earn an appropriate return and demonstrates Emerald’s commitment to communicating with farmers and providing them with the services that meet their needs. The system indeed incorporates Emerald’s advanced product concepts and is designed not only for the sustainable development of the company but also for the sustainable growth of its partner farmers.
Freight ship anchored at the Port of Melbourne. The crops will be delivered all over the world from this port.
Australia meets nearly 40% of the demand for wheat in Asia. We visited the country and met the members of the silo base who were committed to the safety of the crops, farmers who were passionately producing good crops, and members of a company collecting the crops from farmers and supporting their passion for wheat production. I strongly feel from my visit to Australia that the grain business of Sumitomo Corporation is supported by a range of outstanding people, including those whom I met.
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