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Corporate Responsibility February 2010

Corporate Responsibility February 2010

Supporting pomelo farmers in western China

Supporting pomelo farmers in western China

More than 600 farmers have taken part in training courses organised to support the pomelo citrus fruit industry - a driver of the local economy where our first rural bank is based in Liangping County, Chongqing in western China.

Our training program, developed in partnership with local government, is in response to tougher trading conditions facing farmers and the community as a result of marketing and plantation challenges.

Six training seminars have been delivered so far, covering marketing, branding and trademarks, and plantation and cultivation skills.

Agricultural sessions, providing practial farming techniques to improve yields, have taken place on pomelo plantations close to where the farmers live, including the townships of Longtan, Mingda, Yuanyi and Daguan.

The farming courses were delivered by Professor Zeng Ming from the Horticulture School of Southwest University, an expert in pomelo farming.

Future training sessions will cover business operations as well as further marketing topics, including developing sales networks and distribution channels, and promotional activities such as media publicity and events.

CEO, Mike Smith, launched the 12 month program to coincide with the opening of our first rural bank in China – a first for any Australian bank.

The program aims to help build a thriving local industry and contribute to the health of the local economy – this will in turn support the long-term viability of our business there.

The rural bank is the first step in bringing our rural finance experience to China in support of its rapidly-developing agricultural sector.

Liangping County has a population of around 900,000 people, of which 89 per cent live in rural areas.

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