Nothing like putting Corp in a name for it to achieve a patina of reliability and ruthless efficiency.
Grain Corp grew out of a Government service that helped farmers get wheat to towns and ports.
Privatisation and globalisation came along and suddenly it was fabulous to sell Government assets to private businesses for the common good of businessmen everywhere.
And Yes, I'm a leftie, but I like it when people look after each other, makes me feel good. I'm not so much into every dog for himself thinking. Just thought I'd declare my bias.
Joe Hockey refused the sale of GrainCorp on 29th November 2013, stating "would not be in our national interest".
There's that national interest.
The buyer was a company from the US called Arthur Daniels Midland, a corporate giant in food.
The National Party and the Greens were the official voices of dissent to the deal. Southpaw socialists the pair of them.
I'm sure issues like the US being found to be bugging everyone on the planet probably had a part to play. Selling off our main wheat distributor to a country that had involved us in their worldwide bugging and who had also put some permanent troops on our soil, well, that might be seen as losing our identity, not just our food. May as well put another star on the US flag and learn the US national anthem.
I told you I was a lefty pinko. But the distribution efficiencies of one big network have costs, for example, being a monopoly and therefore being a matter of one business deal to control a whole State's wheat. Memories of the old Vestey meat business days.
I think the refusal to sell GrainCorp was the right idea. ADM somehow quickly found another quarter of a billion dollars when the deal was looking dodgy, I imagine to try to sweeten and speed the deal up. So they clearly think GrainCorp is a very good deal.
For an idea of how important wheat is to our diet. Try being a Coeliac. Gluten, from wheat and other sources, is in nearly all processed food. Icecreams for example.
Which shows another aspect to this food fight. Everything is changing, diets are changing in Asia as wealth grows. Genetically modified foods are becoming more prevalent. And it seems people's reactions to certain foods are increasing.
But let's keep it simple.
ADM tried to buy GrainCorp and failed. This time.
They lost the battle, but not the war.