Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


A quick check on some of what's been happening or being talked about in the agribusiness sector


Elders raises $137m

A flush of fresh Elders shares began trading on the Australian Securities Exchange this week after the farm services company completed the retail component of its share offer to raise $137 million.

Retail investors took up $32.7m shares after an initial 70 per cent of eligible shareholder entitlements were applied for, with the take up increasing to 87pc after top up investments.

Shareholders were offered one share for every 6.7 they already held as the company raised capital to help cover its pending takeover of Australian Independent Rural Retailers.

The shortfall stock not purchased in the retail offer was allocated to sub-underwriters.

A $100m institutional share placement closed last month.


Are you likely to be scammed?

Australians will lose a record $532 million to financial scams in 2019 according to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission.

Between January and July alone cryptocurrency investment scams reported to the ACCC accounted for losses worth $14.76m.

"Many people are confident they would never fall for a scam, but often it's this sense of confidence that scammers target," said ACCC deputy chairman, Delia Rickard, urging consumers to refresh their scam protection and detection skills..

"Scammers are professional businesses dedicated to ripping us off, using call centres with convincing scripts and corporate performance indicators their 'employees' must meet."

Investment scams, in particular, were sophisticated and convincing.

'Facebook lottery' scams, the 'Loom' pyramid scheme, and cryptocurrency scams were particularly common.

The ACCC has produced a series of videos with tips and tricks on how to spot a scam.

MLA voting rights

Producer members of Meat and Livestock Australia are urged to return their levies notices to ensure they secure full voting rights in ballots and board elections held by MLA in 2019-20.

Based on the levies they paid in 2018-19, red meat members have received notice packs offering them an opportunity to secure their full voting rights at MLA's 2019 annual general meeting on November 20, in Tamworth.

Their personalised levy notice details must be returned by September 23.

"It is important red meat producers are actively engaged in this important process and take every opportunity to have an input into how MLA is investing their levies," said MLA managing director, Jason Strong.

In October members also receive an AGM pack with a voting entitlement, notice of MLA's 2019 AGM and a proxy form for use by those who cannot attend the meeting.

The AGM is part of Red Meat 2019 - the industry's three-day flagship event, which includes producer tours, forums, research, innovation and marketing insights and a trade show.


Calix signs Europe fertiliser deal

Victorian crop inputs maker, Calix, has signed a 10-year distribution agreement with Europe's largest supplier of sulphur-based fertiliser and crop protection products, Afepasa, for the production of its Booster-Mag bioactive magnesium hydroxide for agriculture.

Afepasa is a Spanish company making premium sulphur products which operates in more than 80 countries.

The distribution agreement for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East includes marketing and selling of Calix's bioactive materials as an active ingredient under Afepasa labelling.

Calix's Booster-Mag developed in the past four years, is a low-cost foliar spray which acts as a fertiliser and assists with crop protection, fulfilling the market's need for lower-toxicity or non-toxic products that can help manage crops.

Chief executive officer, Phil Hodgson, said safer and more sustainable crop protection was a key focus for Calix, which has operations at Bacchus Marsh.

"Development of new agricultural products takes time and significant investment and it is very pleasing to have reached this significant milestone through partnering with a company of the reach and experience of Afepasa."


Global table menu entices

More than 100 international and Australian speakers will join former US Secretary of State, John Kerry, to discuss the future of food at Melbourne's Global Table early next month.

John Kerry

John Kerry

Leaders in food, agricultural science, technology and medicine will tackle questions on how to feed a growing world population in the face of a climate crisis and unsustainable development.

The September 3-6 event aims to highlight ground-breaking solutions with potential to disrupt food and agricultural systems, as it comes under increasing pressure with a world population of 10 billion people in 30 years.

Rising meat consumption, dwindling water resources and extreme weather are just some of the challenges.

Newly announced speakers include Andrew D. Ive who founded Big Idea Ventures, a hybrid venture capital firm investing in the alternative protein and plant-based food sectors; global innovation director at Nestlé, Gerardo Mazzeo; Danielle Neirenberg; the president of US non-profit organisation, Food Tank, which offers environmentally sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty, and Austrade's Philippines senior business development manager, Liza Bautista.

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