Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


Farm Online News
New AgLink chief executive officer, Ian Scutt.

New AgLink chief executive officer, Ian Scutt.

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A snapshot of what's been going on around the agribusiness traps

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New AgLink boss

The independent AgLink collective of 16 family-owned agricultural retailers has appointed Tasmanian, Ian Scutt as its new chief executive officer, replacing Bill Dowdle, who held the role for 11 years.

Mr Scutt has been recruited from one of AgLink’s founding member companies, the Serve-Ag farm and agricultural advisory services firm, where he has been CEO based in Devonport.

A rural science graduate from the University of New England, he has been an AgLink board member for seven years.

AgLink’s member outlets supply about $1.2 billion sales of farm input and agronomy advice to Australian farmers and claim about 25 per cent of the agricultural chemical market and 15pc of fertiliser sales.

Departing CEO, Mr Dowdle recently moved to Canada to head a similar group of 14 independent agricultural retailers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta with which AgLink has been developing a commercial and strategic alliance.

Extra woman for Elders board

Elders Limited has appointed a sixth director – and a second woman – to its ranks, with Diana Eilert to join the board November 14.

Chairman Hutch Ranck said Ms Eilert, who shares her time between Sydney and a family cattle farm on the NSW South Coast, had extensive listed company director experience, especially in retailing, real estate and digital technologies.

She has also been a vice president with Citibank, a partner at IBM, a group executive with Suncorp, and head of strategy and corporate development at News Limited.

New Elders director Diana Eilert takes her seat in November.

New Elders director Diana Eilert takes her seat in November.

Her appointment was in line with the company’s objective of ensuring its board had talented individuals and diverse range of skills, experiences and backgrounds.

Ms Eilert’s executive career has included more than 25 years in financial services, management consulting and media and she is currently on the boards of Navitas Limited and Super Retail Group.

Other Elders non-executive directors are Robyn Clubb, Ian Wilton and James Jackson. 

Olam sells Californian orchards

Agricultural commodities trader, Olam International, has sold about 2000 hectares of almond, pistachio and walnut orchard land in California to the Farmland Partners group.

Farmland Partners is paying $142 million in a deal which will see Singapore-based OIam, which has extensive nut, cotton and other agricultural investments in Australia, keeps a 25-year farming agreement at the site.

The agreement includes a revenue share agreement with Olam.

The Illinois-base Farmland Partners portfolio now covers about 64,000ha of row crop farmland permanent, higher value crops.

More MG board changes

Murray Goulburn  (MG)Co-operative is to replace special director, Mike Ihlein, at the October 27 annual general meeting with chartered accountant, David Grant.

Mr Grant is currently a director of Event Hospitality and Entertainment and previously a board director on iiNet Limited from 2006 to 2015

Retiring Mr Ihlein was elected to the Board of MG in 2012 and chairs the finance, risk and audit committee.

He said the past 18 months had been a “very difficult period” for MG and its suppliers, but he was confident necessary steps were being taken under the leadership of chairman, John Spark, and managing director, Ari Mervis, to stabilise and rebuild the business.

Chinese daigou retailer floats

New age retailer AuMake International, which connects Australian suppliers directly with China’s daigou shoppers living in Australia and Chinese tourists, has listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

AuMake has tapped the growing and influential daigou and Chinese tourist market to offer a one-stop-shop retail network selling Australian products such as dairy, healthcare (supplements and food), cosmetics, dairy, baby food (including infant formula), and wool and leather goods.

Daigou personal shoppers represent a big market for Australian goods being “exported” direct to friends, family and shopping networks back in China.

AuMake’s services include knowledgeable bilingual staff, multiple payment options, via WeChat, Alipay and Unionpay, and an in-store logistics service delivering products anywhere in the world.

It is opening a flagship store above Sydney’s Town Hall railway station.

The company’s ASX public float was over-subscribed raising of $6 million to be invested expanding its daigou/Chinese tourist retail network, developing its online capability and acquiring brands which can gain traction with daigou and Chinese tourists.

Executive chairman, Keong Chan, said Chinese consumers wanted safe, reliable Australian products and trusted brands and to fulfill this need AuMake was positioning to be the premier retail brand for daigou and tourists, directly connecting them well-known and new Australian products and suppliers.

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