Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief

Heston Blumenthal has become a shareholder in Murray Cod Australia.

Heston Blumenthal has become a shareholder in Murray Cod Australia.


A quick check on what some of the movers and shakers in agribusiness are up to


MCA cooks up celebrity deal

Riverina-based Murray Cod Australia has signed up high-profile international chef, Heston Blumenthal, as a shareholder and ambassador for the company's Aquana farmed cod products.

MCA is Australia's largest producer of Murray cod, with a series of purpose-built dams on farms in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area around Griffith.

It confirmed 1.5 million ordinary shares, currently worth about 17 cents each, had been issued pursuant to the agreement.

Appointing the British Michelin-starred restaurant owner, Blumenthal, and his The Fat Duck Group as a key advocate in a five-year deal was a milestone for the company's push for recognition as luxury food producer.

"The innovative way they have created a luxury fish produce by combining natural processes evolved over millions of years with cutting edge technology aligns with the way I approach food and cooking," Blumenthal said.

MCA chairman, Ross Anderson, said having the Fat Duck Group as a stakeholder "will further accelerate our progress in securing Aquna brand's position as a global luxury food brand".

The celebrity chef would showcase the sustainable, pond-grown fish through media networks and where appropriate, at events and in his restaurants, also advise on menu and product development.


Northern CRC funds offer

The Co-operative Research Centre for Northern Australia (CRCNA) is seeking interest in industry-led research collaborations to address issues specifically related to northern Australia.

EOIs can be submitted by industry, researchers, small to medium enterprises or community sector groups, addressing key research questions in agriculture and food, health service delivery or traditional owner-led business development in agriculture, food or health.

Applications close on June 28.

Chairman, Sheriden Morris, said the organisation wanted projects which delivered innovative solutions and challenge the status quo.

"There is a need across northern Australia to enhance agricultural supply chains, improve access to health services and better capture export opportunities."

To date, the CRCNA has committed more than $14.5 million to 41 projects with a total value exceeding $39m, including a plan to capture higher returns for Top end horticultural crops, a project improving Kakadu Plum supply chains, and work to boost by 200 per cent the export of Calypso mangoes from Queensland and Northern Territory to China.


McKillop heads CBRE

Former Hassad Australia and Clyde Agriculture boss, John McKillop, has been appointed chairman of property and investment services firm CBRE's Pacific Agribusiness group.

John McKillop

John McKillop

Mr McKillop has held a series of senior executive roles in Australian agribusiness, most recently as chief executive officer Hassad Australia, owner of 17 rural property aggregations.

He has also been CEO of the Sustainable Agriculture Fund, and was a senior executive at Stanbroke Pastoral Company.

He is a current board member of Marcus Oldham College and Dairy Farmers Milk Cooperative and has held non-executive roles have spanned Meat and Livestock Australia, National Farmers Federation, Dairy Australia, Cubbie Cotton, Harvey Beef the Primary Industries Education Foundation.

Regional Director of CBRE Agribusiness, Danny Thomas, said Mr McKillop's appointment would help drive the continued growth of the firm's Agribusiness platform, which comprises over 50 sales and valuation professionals.


SPC puts organic in a can

SPC Ardmona has launched Australia's first organic product in the canned tomato category - Ardmona Organic Finely Crushed Tomatoes - to help meet Australia's growing hunger for local and organically-grown produce.

The new, premium 400 gram can offering is being promoted as a "perfect addition to warming winter recipes like pastas, curries and soups with the added comfort of 100 per cent locally grown and organic tomatoes".

"We know consumers are becoming more health conscious and looking for organic products," said senior brand manager, SPC Ardmona, Gillian Kapurubandara.

The Ardmona Finely Crushed Organic Tomato line is certified by Organic Australia and available in Woolworths stores nationwide.


GrainGrowers vacancies

Nominations for three board positions with grain industry research and advocacy body GrainGrowers close at the end of May.

The northern region (northern NSW and Queensland) and Southern region (southern NSW, Victoria, Tasmania) casual directorships will fill positions on the six-seat board for an initial two-year term.

Retiring northern director, Peter Thompson is not re-nominating due to farming commitments, while the current terms for southern directors, Brett Hosking (chairman) and Julia Hausler, are also ending.

Grain Growers Limited boasts 17,000 members Australia-wide.

To qualify candidates must be members, residing in the region they nominate to represent and have a positive disposition to the further development of Australia's grains industry.

Applicants should also have a proven track record of success at board or committee level, a solid understanding of governance, a strategic mind, and behave in a collegiate manner.

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