Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


Farm Online News
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A quick look at what's been happening and who's making news in agribusiness

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Namoi board additions

The Namoi Cotton boardroom has three new recruits with this month’s appointment of former Elders director, James Jackson, former grain handling sector boss, Joe Di Leo, and northern NSW farmer, Juanita Hamparsum.

Mr Jackson, chairman of significant Namoi shareholder, Australian Rural Capital, has more than 25 years experience in capital markets and agribusiness in Australia and overseas.

He has been senior vice president with investment bank SG Warburg (now part of UBS), chairman of MSF Sugar,  deputy chairman of Elders from 2014 to 2017 and fattens beef cattle on NSW’s Far North Coast.

He fills a vacancy created with the retirement of Michael Boyce.

Ms Hamparsum, an accountant and Liverpool Plains grain grower, fills a casual grower director vacancy following the retirement of Ben Coulton.

She is a director of Cotton Seed Distributors and chairman of the Great Artesian Basin Authority.

Mr Di Leo, whose early career was with the State Rail Authority, then GrainCorp, has 30 years experience in the freight, agriculture and food sectors, including managing director of Allied Mills, and past directorships with Teys Australia and Port Kembla Port Corporation.

He fills an additional position created on the board. 

New Dairy Australia boss

Dairy Australia’s new managing director will be the current co-director of pasture production and herd productivity research body, DairyBio, David Nation.

Dr Nation was previously chief executive of the Dairy Futures Co-operative Research Centre for six years and has also previously worked with DA as a program manager.

He replaces outgoing DA boss Ian Halliday, who has been appointed Australia’s Consul-General and Senior Trade Commissioner in Dubai.

DA chairman Jeff Odgers said Dr Nation was well known and respected by farmers for his commitment to improving farm productivity through innovation.

He had an “outstanding ability to relate to farmers and bring together people from across the government, private and not-for-profit sectors”.

Peak dairy group, Australian Dairy Farmers, has also welcomed his appointment, which begins on July 30.

Agresens appointment

Melbourne-based agricultural technology company, Agersens, has appointed animal health and wellbeing expert, Dr Cameron Ralph, as its manager of production science.

He will support the development and roll out of the eShepherd smart collar system, which enables farmers to create virtual “fences” and remotely monitor, muster and move cattle.

Dr Ralph was formerly deputy director of the Animal Welfare Science Centre, and a member of Meat and Livestock Australia’s strategic partnership in animal welfare.

He has more than 10 years’ experience in research in the beef and dairy, sheep and pig industries.

Agersens is applying virtual fencing technology developed by CSIRO on a worldwide basis.

Incitec outlook blasts off

Fertiliser and explosives business Incitec Pivot’s has been awarded a significant product and services contract with the Fortescue Metals Group, prompting the company to upgrade its profit expectations.

The contract is with between its Dyno Nobel explosives business and two FMG subsidiaries.

Although no change is expected in the current financial year, the combination of various mitigating actions is set to result in a positive impact on Incitec’s net profit after tax of between $6 million and $24m in each of the next four years.

Incitec Pivot managing director, Jeanne Johns, said Dyno Nobel was delighted to be partnering with Fortescue and its subsidiaries Chicester metals and FMG Solomon.

“We have shared values of safety and commitment to practical innovation,” she said.

UHT cream re-think

Close on the heels of its acquisition by Canadian company Saputo, the Devondale dairy business is assessing the potential of reintroducing its long life thickened cream product.

The line was discontinued last year after then Murray Goulburn factory at Edith Creek in northern Tasmania was closed as part of the company’s cost cutting moves.

However the loss of long life cream from supermarket shelves has been a contentious issue for many consumers, particularly in regional and remote Australia.

Social media has carried hundreds of thousands of posts calling for the product reintroduced, prompting Saputo Dairy Australia to look at replicating its previous UHT cream production capabilities at a new site.

  • Do you have an agribusiness event or newsy developments within your organisation which could feature in Agribusiness Buzz? Contact andrew.marshall@fairfaxmedia.com.au
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