Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief

David Crombie

David Crombie


A quick check on what some of the players are up to and what people are talking about in agribusiness


Crombie leaving AACo board

Australian Agricultural Company director, David Crombie, is to retire from the beef business' board at the end of July, after almost eight years.

However, he will continue his association with AACo in an advisory role in the pastoral area of the company.

The Queensland beef producer, former Meat and Livestock Australia chairman and National Farmers Federation president, joined AACo in October 2011 serving in multiple board roles, including on the staff and remuneration committee and the audit and risk management committee.

AACo chairman, Don McGauchie, said Mr Crombie's background in breeding cattle and farming had been invaluable.

His love of the land and understanding of the beef industry had guided AACo's direction.

"He's been instrumental in helping to develop the branded beef strategy that AACo is pursuing with its unrivalled ability to produce the highest quality beef at scale," Mr McGauchie said.


Sinclair, Kelty retire from FRRR

Ian Sinclair

Ian Sinclair

Former Nationals leader and chairman of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Ian Sinclair, is to retire from his position he has held since the organisation's formation 18 years ago.

Also leaving the FRRR board is another high profile director, former Australian Council of Trade Unions president and Reserve Bank of Australia director, Bill Kelty.

Southern Queensland agribusiness identity and philanthropist, Tim Fairfax, will become chairman from January.

In the interim, FRRR's Deputy Chairman Annie Grindrod will act in the role.

"It has been a great privilege to have had the opportunity to lead FRRR," said Mr Sinclair who paid tribute to the foresight and vision of our Founders - Baillieu Myer AC and the former Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson who led the push for FRRR's creation.

"Rural, regional and remote Australia is complex, diverse and very special - so much more than what often gets presented in the media," Mr Sinclair said.

Mr Kelty was pleased to be leaving FRRR in a strong financial and reputational position to continue to support rural, regional and remote Australia for many years to come.

"It's been an honour to have played a small part in helping to grow the corpus, while still granting out more than $85 million," he said.

"It's a great organisation that does really good things for people who need it."


Taking sick leave

Inghams Group chairman, Peter Bush, has taken two months leave of absence from the the role following recent hospital treatment.

Mr Bush, a former chief executive officer of McDonald's Australia, and also chairman of Southern Cross Media Group and Mantra Holdings, will have his role at Inghams temporarily filled by director, Linda Nicholls.

He is expected to make a full recovery and return to the chairman's job.

Also on sick leave, Bega Cheese executive chairman, Barry Irvin, continues to recover after surgery last month.

Bega has not specified exactly when he will resume his previous workload, but depending on his recovery from treatment, Mr Irvin hoped to be back next month.


Yoghurt culture turns natural

Australians now eat more natural or plain varieties of yoghurt than the traditionally popular flavoured or fruit varieties.

Latest market research by the Roy Morgan company shows in the past year 45.5 per cent of Australians were eating natural or plain yoghurt in an average four week period, compared to 42.4pc eating flavoured or fruit yoghurt in the same time frame.

Natural or plain yoghurt consumption was up 2.7pc from four years ago, while flavoured or fruit lines fell 6.6pc.

The only consumption frequency for flavoured or fruit yoghurt which grew over the last four years was those eating flavoured or fruit yoghurt less often than once a month, indicating that existing consumers may be limiting how often they indulge themselves with flavoured or fruit yoghurt.

Those eating natural or plain yoghurt were more likely to have health conscious attitudes.


ACCC halts Meredith cheese move

Victorian sheep and goat's milk processor Meredith Dairy has been blocked from attempting to stop retailers discounting its goat's cheese by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The ACCC ruled it would not be in the public interest.

Meredith Dairy wanted stop some smaller retailers selling its cheese below a certain price, saying products were being unfairly discounted to lure shoppers into stores.

It claimed retailers advertising special deals to compete with supermarkets had led to demands from other retailers for lower wholesale prices.

The ACCC decided the company had not proven that leaving the price unregulated would "jeopardise ongoing investment in its business".

"In our view, the proposed conduct would have led to consumers paying higher prices for Meredith Dairy's goat cheeses, and would have limited the ability of delicatessens and other small retailers to compete with big chains," said ACCC deputy chairman, Mick Keogh.


Asian importers touring

Horticulture produce importers, wholesalers and retailers from six export markets within Asia are in Australia this week for an Ausveg's reverse trade mission, commissioned by Hort Innovation and supported by the Victorian Government.

The 40 delegates represent some of Australia's most significant trading partners, including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.

The inbound mission is part of a strategic levy investment using the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund to bring buyers from a diverse export market base to visit seven fruit and vegetable farms to witness first-hand the high-quality produce available.

Australia's vegetable industry sector is targeting a $315 million export value goal for 2020.

The delegates will also attend Hort Connections 2019 in Melbourne.


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