CBH grain co-op confirms Ben Macnamara as CEO

The news follows strong annual results from the Australian agri co-op, which recorded a surplus of AU$133.8m for the year to 31 September

Western Australian grain co-op CBH has appointed acting CEO Ben Macnamara to the role on a permanent basis.

“Ben’s strong track record and proven leadership capabilities, further demonstrated in recent months as acting CEO, made him a clear choice,” said chair Simon Stead.

“Ben is an outstanding executive with more than 20 years’ experience working across investment advisory roles and several roles within CBH including strategy, planning, business development and operations.

Ben Macnamara

“Since joining CBH in 2014, Ben has been instrumental in bringing a strong commercial focus to the business, establishing a planning function to ensure network investment is prioritised based on the growing size of the crop and growers needs, and leading the operations division through a period of significant network investment and planning for this year’s record crop.

“In selecting a new CEO, the Board’s priority was to identify someone who will remain steadfastly focused on the core of CBH – an efficient and cost-effective supply chain, finding the highest value markets for your grain and leveraging the co-operative model to continue to return value to WA growers.”

Mr Macnamara said he is honoured to have the opportunity to lead CBH and serve the grain growers of Western Australia.

“Growing up in a farming family in the wheatbelt of WA, I recognise the significant role our co-operative plays in the livelihoods of thousands of grain growers across the State, and I am proud to be a part of that,” he said.

“My focus moving forward will be on our people and relationships with our growers, customers and partners, network investment and keeping pace with growers and customer needs and enhancements to our core systems.

“We have great people at CBH, and I look forward to working with the team and continuing to improve how we create and return value for to the grain growers of WA.”

Prior to joining CBH, Mr Macnamara, a chartered accountant, held roles within an investment advisory firm and an international professional services firm.

The news follows the annual report from the co-op, which handles, markets and processes grain from Western Australia’s wheatbelt. It shows a strong surplus of AU$133.8m for the year to 30 September, driven by strong global demand for grain and an above average 2020/21 harvest.

“We have pulled together to overcome supply chain challenges, managed the uncertainty of Covid-19, delivered a large network investment program and contended with ongoing global market volatility to find new markets for Western Australian grain,” said Mr Macnamara.

“We experienced some supply chain issues throughout the year which highlighted the need to continue to invest heavily in our network and our people so we can adapt to external shocks.

“This strong financial result leaves us well positioned to continue our elevated rate of capital investment into our network over the coming years.”