Grains Australia has recently appointed Richard Simonaitis as chief executive officer.
Simonaitis brings significant industry experience to the organisation, having worked in senior management roles in the grain industry and in export-focused commodity industries, most recently leading the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC).
Recent AEGIC accomplishments include research to support the commercialisation of new oat rice and noodle products, exploring wheat supply chains for cake and biscuit manufacturing, alongside its valuable business insights into the future outlook for Australian grains.
“Richard’s experience in market insight and analysis, innovation and education align with the core functions of Grains Australia, in addition to his significant accomplishments in the broader grain industry,” Grains Australia chair Terry Enright said.
“Grains Australia’s vision is to be the leader in delivering industry good services that add value to the Australian grains industry, and we are confident Richard will make significant progress in helping achieve this goal. The Board look forward to working closely with Richard to ensure Grains Australia’s Strategic Plan is implemented effectively, while ensuring the best outcomes for the industry.”
Simonaitis will officially take on the role of CEO from 1 November.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to work closely with the Grains Australia team and Board to build on its achievements to date and improve connectivity across the value chain and industry influence amongst key domestic and global stakeholders,” Simonaitis said.
“I was attracted to this role because of the opportunity to take a collaborative approach to working closely with organisations across the Australian grains industry, in order to deliver services that benefit the whole of the industry.”
WA Agriculture and Food minister, Alannah MacTiernan, also congratulated the new CEO.
“Congratulations to Richard Simonaitis on his appointment. He will be a great asset to Grains Australia and its work throughout the national supply chain,” MacTiernan said.
“Richard has created an exceptional team and culture at AEGIC, which has delivered a strong national brand and reputation. His intimate knowledge of the WA grains industry – the nation’s biggest – and our overseas markets will make him a great ambassador for our state.”
Additionally, Enright thanked Grains Australia director, Andrew Young, for assuming the role of interim CEO in January.
“Andrew has made significant contributions to Grains Australia during his time as interim CEO, most notably building the Grains Australia executive team, managing the integration of Wheat Quality Australia and the merger of Barley Australia, establishing the Grains Australia Wheat Council and developing the organisation’s Strategic Plan to 2024/25,” he said.
“These are important milestones that Andrew has helped achieve and he has created momentum that Richard can build on to ensure Grains Australia delivers on its objectives. I welcome Andrew back to his role as director on the Board of Grains Australia and look forward to continuing to work closely with him.”