Agribusinesses making waves in trade and export have been recognised for their success at the launch of the NAB Agribusiness 2018 calendar.
This year the focus of the calendar is once again trade and export, and it showcases 13 customers who understand how important maintaining and expanding these markets is to their long-term future.
Some have adopted the latest technology or built on their heritage, while others have created or entered profitable new niches and markets.
Edwards Livestock Co.
Matt and Alice Edwards, Owners
Edwards Livestock Co., owned and operated by Matt and Alice Edwards, was formed in 2009 as an F1 Wagyu live cattle and beef export business with Matt’s parents Bill and Sue Edwards. Today the business has an 80-per- cent share of live trade to Japan and annually exports about 10,000 F1 and full-blood steers exclusively to Japan from Hamilton, Port of Brisbane. Their business values of loyalty, respect and commitment closely align with their Japanese customers’ values and have produced and supported long-standing relationships. The Edwards’ export strategies include forward price commitments for valued suppliers – regardless of economic fluctuations – and breeding genetics from a core full-blood herd that provides bulls/semen for F1 production while leading the F1 Wagyu industry in commercial AI programs. To guarantee both quality and consistency of export supply, Edwards Livestock operates two drought-proof quarantine facilities as well as breeding and backgrounding operations. They’re also strong advocates for animal welfare in order to maintain the standards and reputation of the live export industry for future success.
Michael, Tony and Terry Nolan, Directors
The Nolans’ 60-year- old family business has grown from a tiny butcher’s shop serving Gympie locals to one of Australia’s largest family-owned exporters and wholesalers of quality beef. Nolan Meats has expanded to include everything in the beef supply chain from its cattle breeding herd, cattle backgrounding and feedlots to a modern beef processing plant, distribution centre and refrigerated transport fleet used to prepare product for export and domestic sale. According to Co-Director Terry Nolan, the scale, quality control and confidence that comes from owning and understanding the whole production chain is key to winning new markets. It also allowed Nolan Meats in 1997 to be early testers and adopters of the then-new Meat Standards Australia (MSA) meat grading technology. The company started the export ball rolling by gaining Tier 1 accreditation in 2003, then access to the US in 2006 by pioneering the Australian Export Meat Inspection System (AEMIS), which was formally adopted by industry in 2011. The Asia Pacific region markets are seen as their key area for growth. The family’s dedication to producing hormone growth promotant-free, environmentally sustainable, high-quality beef has resulted in Nolan Meats being acknowledged as an industry leader with access for export to more than 100 countries and counting.
Fresh Produce Alliance
Jennie Franceschi, Managing Director
With Western Australia’s avocado production set to explode by 2022, Fresh Produce Alliance (FPA) realised it had to quickly find – or create – new avocado markets for its local producers. FPA’s Managing Director, Jennie Franceschi, was equally alarmed at the 30 to 40 per cent wastage of ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables on farms, and decided to implement some hitech solutions that simultaneously addressed wastage and carved out new export niches. FPA’s focus on the avocado’s health benefits led to the business being one of the first in the world to invest in high-pressure and quick-freezing technologies that retain all the nutritional value of fresh produce while extending shelf life. It now produces packaged frozen or cold pressure-pasteurised consumer products as well as fresh avocados. Needless to say, quality-obsessed Japanese and Singaporeans can’t get enough of the fresh taste and goodness locked into every product.
Paul and Belinda Adams, Managers
From three acres of rocky land near Queensland’s Gold Coast, farmers Barry and Lyn Moss sought to transform their property into a viable growing proposition via hydroponics technology in the 1980s. Today, Coastal Hydroponics, managed by daughter Belinda and her husband Paul Adams, is a thriving herb and lettuce production business that balances a pioneering spirit with advanced automation, process planning and meticulous scheduling. The formidable production facility supplies about 28 tonnes a week of salad, including crisp salad leaves and fragrant herbs, direct to Coles supermarkets across Queensland. Using NAB’s expertise and support, the business is exploring global export markets and the prospect of installing innovative Cravo houses for the protected growing of its produce in the future.
Simon Harding, Director
A strong agricultural family, honest hardworking values and a hands-on approach to oaten hay, straw, fodder production and export relationships are at the heart of the Narrakine Group. In the 1980s Graham Harding pressed the first hay for small export volumes to Japan. In the early 2000s the family sought greater control of the value-added product so they invested in a larger hay press, exporting to Asia via an agent. Five years later they purchased a neighbouring property and press, and hired a dedicated Marketing Manager to develop strong direct export relationships. With a recent hay press investment in 2016, the business aims to triple its output to 50,000 tonnes of hay per year, while maintaining an unwavering focus on quality and long-term export relationships. As well as exporting hay, the Narrakine brand also grows a third of its own hay, which is put through the press and exported. It also produces and exports grain primarily to China, the Philippines, Malaysia and Japan through the grain processing plant on the farm.
Jacqueline Donoghue, Partner
What began as a rugged camp on Mullaley’s Liverpool Plains in the 1860s has since evolved into an innovative value-add agribusiness, leveraging a pioneering direct export model. Jacqui Donoghue and husband Chris began their farming days growing wheat, sunflowers and sorghum before turning to the farming and health benefits of linseed. They now produce and export a range of value-add produce featuring their nutritious linseed crop, from breakfast cereal boosters to linseed biscuits. Lateral business thinking, a strong desire to connect with customers and a healthy appetite for diverse cultures are the key ingredients in Lively Linseed’s success in sourcing direct export relationships, all enhanced by Jacqui’s self-taught Mandarin literacy. The business now enjoys thriving export sales in boutique supermarkets in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan, and is exploring opportunities in India.
Colin Campbell, Joint Owner and Winemaker
The Australian wine export crash in 2009 saw many winemakers leave the industry. Concurrently, the country’s international reputation for quality took a downward turn. Colin and Malcolm Campbell of Campbells Wines joined forces with 11 other winemaking dynasties and together these multi-generational families began a campaign that would help restore Australia’s winemaking prestige and markets. Called ‘Australia’s First Families of Wine’ they toured the world, giving masterclasses, promoting their top-shelf products and demonstrating Australia’s winemaking heritage. This helped the re-establishment of existing markets for Campbells, including the UK and US, and it opened up opportunities in China and Hong Kong. Not content with successfully helping to redefine Australia’s international reputation, Colin Campbell works tirelessly together with his fellow Rutherglen winemakers to promote Rutherglen’s regional speciality and unique wine, the world-renowned Muscat of Rutherglen.