Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


What's going on around the traps in agribusiness?


SPC's new broom at work

Former SPC Ardmona chief commercial officer, Robert Giles, has been appointed chief executive officer following the food processor's $40 million acquisition from Coca-Cola Amatil by Shepparton Partners Collective (SPC) in July.

Mr Giles, who joined SPC Ardmona two years ago with a 30-year background in the fast moving consumer goods industry and agribusiness, replaces Reg Weine, who stayed with CCA.

SPC Ardmona chairman, Hussein Rifai, said the new Melbourne-based ownership group believed there was enormous opportunity to grow the iconic 100-year-old brand domestically and internationally.

SPC boasts significant Australian and international experience in food, supply chain, finance, retail, agri-business and technology within its ranks, including past work with brands such as Proctor and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson, Cadbury's and business services giant EY.

It has promised to utilise SPC's full capacity by "creating new, innovative products and explore new distribution channels".

Management had begun reducing the business' complexity, improving working capital and inventory efficiency, and building domestic and international channels.

"We are very positive about this business and are already working on exciting initiatives, products and solutions to appeal to a broader market at home and abroad," CEO, Mr Giles said.


FRRR recruits Crean, Sharp

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) has appointed former federal MPs Simon Crean and John Sharp to its board following the retirement of Ian Sinclair and Bill Kelty.

Governor-General, David Hurley has also accepted the board's request to act as FRRR's Patron in Chief.

Mr Crean served in the four Labor Governments under Prime Ministers - Hawke, Keating, Rudd and Gillard - retiring from parliament in 2013.

H is chairman of the Australain Livestock Exporters Council, a director of Linfox, LiveCorp and the Red Meat Advisory Council among other roles.

John Sharp was Nationals Member for Gilmore for 14 years, serving as Transport and Regional Development Minister from 1996-97.

He is deputy chairman Regional Express airline and a director of Luerssen Australia, and the Australian Maritime Shipbuilding and Export Group.


Dairy course at Marcus

Victoria's Marcus Oldham College is launching a learning program with Dairy Australia to support business management capability development in dairy farming.

The Dairy Learning Plan has been designed to support students through the college's Bachelor of Business (Agriculture) course and to develop dairy specific business management skills.

It is open to new industry entrants and those already working in dairy farming who are looking to progress their careers in farm management.

It includes 11 months practical placement on a dairy farm, plus two years' study at Marcus Oldham College, near Geelong.

Students will learn from dairy farmers and service providers, exploring real life farm scenarios, business challenges and attend the Australian Dairy Conference.

Dairy Australia is supporting three scholarships offered each year in 2020, 2021 and 2022, with current applications open until October 18.


MLA sponsorship offer

Grassroots producer event organisers are invited by Meat and Livestock Australia to submit an application for MLA sponsorship for January and June 2020.

MLA's sponsorship program provides financial and in-kind support for industry events which increase awareness and adoption of business-enhancing research, development and marketing.

Sponsorship opportunities for $10,000 or less, and in-kind sponsorships are on offer to foster the long-term prosperity of the Australian red meat and livestock industry.

In the past six months, MLA supported more than 30 events including the Australian Sheep and Wool Show; Red Meat Updates; East Gippsland Beef Conference; Sheepvention, and Growing SA.

Applications are invited by 6pm October 11.

For details visit:


ANZ agritech body 

Farmbot Australia managing director, Andrew Coppin, is one of three Australian representatives on the newly-formed Australian and New Zealand Agritech Council.

Farmbot helps farmers monitor water resources in real time from their phone and is a finalist in the Trans Tasman Innovation and Growth Awards.

The ANZ Agritech Council will promote and scale the region's agritech business network by building strategic partnerships with the private and public sector, providing insights to attract global investment and by establishing a formal presence in offshore markets - initially in the US and Singapore.

Mr Coppin said agtech was booming in the region and while Australian and NZ farmers were some of the world's best, they faced many challenges including competitive markets, climate volatility and labour shortages.

"We need more investment, collaboration and partnerships to truly prosper and I think the creation of the ANZ Agritech Council is an opportunity to really boost the region's prospects and give that mission a voice, and a focus."


Norco calls in Powertec help

Farmer-owned milk processor, Norco, has engaged Gold Coast-born, global hardware and communications company, Powertec Telecommunications, to boost signal strength at its Gold Coast factory, fulfilling the its desire to go paperless.

Working through Powertec partner, Azentro, challenges were overcome to boost mobile signal strength at the Labrador factory.

Factory general manager, Sandra Hollands, said it was the right time to implement a paperless environment but that it took expertise to overcome what was presumed to be a straightforward process.

"The solution was invaluable and a great improvement for our business operation, but due to the design and building materials used in the construction of our Gold Coast factory we needed expert advice and hardware," she said.

Using eight of its Cel-Fi GO product solutions - an indoor and outdoor smart signal repeater boosting mobile coverage where cellular service is poor - Powertec provided four clusters of signal amplifiers within the factory to increase the Telstra signal.

The better 3G and 4G signal enabled Norco to improve time management, record and share real-time data, communicate with delivery drivers and other external partners, as well as benefit workers' onsite health and safety.

Grocery body grows in west

The independent grocery and liquor retail peak industry body Master Grocers Australia has teamed up with and Liquor Stores Association WA.

Early this year MGA began discussions with LSA, which MGA chief executive officer, Jos de Bruin said the two organisations, were very much aligned to supporting its family and privately-owned retail businesses and delivering a national support framework to benefit all members.

"There is no ambiguity as we do not represent the interests of big business," he said.

  • Start the day with all the big news in agriculture! Click here to sign up to receive our daily Farmonline newsletter.

From the front page

Sponsored by