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Australia South Australian grain dealer jailed for illegally exporting crop seeds to Saudi Arabia

09:56  04 june  2020
09:56  04 june  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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A grain exporter has been jailed for illegally exporting 600 tonnes of seeds to Saudi Arabia – making very little cash for 3.5 years work. From July 2012 to January 2016 Cadzow sold lucerne seed grown by farmers in around Keith in the South East using fake labels.

Saudi Arabia 's large and growing Muslim population will be a key driver to the popularity and high demand Current government policy aims to replace low-value crops , such as hay, wheat and barley, with Competitors are exporting large volumes of food and Agri products to Saudi Arabia including

a sign on the side of a building: Tim Cadzow is a well-known member of the community and former managing director of the liquidated Keith Seeds. (ABC News: Liz Rymill) © Provided by ABC NEWS Tim Cadzow is a well-known member of the community and former managing director of the liquidated Keith Seeds. (ABC News: Liz Rymill) A South Australian grain dealer who falsely labelled lucerne seed worth about $5.7 million has been jailed for more than four years. 

Tim Cadzow, 52, from Keith, in the state's south-east, is a well-known member of the community and former managing director of the liquidated Keith Seeds.

He was found guilty of 31 offences in the Adelaide District Court for illegally exporting and creating false documentation for around 600 tonnes of lucerne seed produced by growers in the Keith region.

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A market overview of Saudi Arabiafor Australian exporters . Austrade can help you to reduce the time, cost and risk of exporting to Saudi Arabia . Market profile. Saudi Arabia has a sound economy with a fast-growing young population, a well-managed banking system, good infrastructure and generally

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Between July 2012 and January 2016, Cadzow was engaged on behalf of growers under his Quantum Bio company to market and manage 16 consignments of lucerne seed for export to Saudi Arabia.

Lucerne seed is a live plant and a prescribed good under the Export Control Act.

Seeds and grain exported from Australia are controlled under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Offending was 'sophisticated'

District Court judge, Michael Durrant, said Cadzow, who had operated in the seed industry for more than 20 years, undertook sophisticated offending through his understanding of the market and the way it worked.

He was also found to have breached client trust as well as exposing them, and the Keith lucerne seed industry, to legal, reputational and commercial damage.

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The Western Australian grain industry is a major contributor to the agrifood sector and the Australian economy. The grains industry is the largest agricultural sector in WA with wheat being the dominant crop throughout the south west of the state.

As the international organisations that track human rights continue to rank Saudi Arabia among the world’s worst violators, countries such as Germany and Belgium have denied export applications for arms headed to Saudi Arabia . In 2015, Sweden cancelled a longstanding defence agreement with

It was found Cadzow used a commercial printer to forge labels and reproduce a logo to resemble official, OECD certificates on 14 consignments.

One consignment was photographed in a marketplace in Saudi Arabia in March 2014, prompting the Federal trade investigation.

Judge Durrant said Cadzow identified a niche market and was motivated by commercial gain, despite pocketing a "modest" sum of between $60,000–100,000 in fees.

"You risked the integrity of the Australian export market for lucerne," he said. 

"Knowing that the contents of the bags, contrary to the labelling you had applied, were neither OECD-certified nor 100 per cent Siriver."

Cadzow was charged with 15 counts of exporting prescribed goods using false trade descriptions and one count of attempting to export the goods.

He was also charged with using an unregistered business to sort and bag the seeds before they were shipped overseas.

In sentencing, Judge Durrant noted Cadzow's remorse, early pleas of guilt and cooperation with the investigation combined with "a strong need for general deterrence".

He was sentenced to four years and three months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 22 months.

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