More than 1000 New York wine lovers have joined the launch of Wine Australia's 'Far From Ordinary' six-week promotion to help reinvigorate Australian wine sales in the USA.
Over three nights last week, the Australian wine sector brought its dynamic wine scene to life with targeted events of a scale and size never seen before.
The events have kick-started the largest-ever Australian wine promotion in the US, which involves more than 100 wine exhibitors and a six-city roadshow of trade tastings and seminars moving to Chicago, Miami and Dallas this week, then Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The New York launch included a "new to market showcase", connecting American importers and distributors with 18 Australian wineries looking to gain a presence in the market; a trade tasting attracting more than 300 US importers, distributors, wholesalers, sommeliers, buyers and media; an Australian Women in Wine Awards night, organised by Fabulous Ladies' Wine Society and Wine Australia and three consumer events.
The promotion blitz is supported by the Australian Government's $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.
Shareholders in Australian Independent Rural Retailers will vote on whether to accept Elders' $187 million offer to buy the wholesale farm supplies group on October 25.
The Federal Court of Australia has approved the scheme of arrangement explanatory booklet to be dispatched to AIRR shareholders this week.
The takeover countdown follows a report from independent experts, Leadenhall Corporate, which concluded the proposed acquisition was "not fair, but is reasonable and in the best interests of AIRR shareholders".
Its board of directors has also supported the Elders bid and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has given its tick to the deal.
AIRR supplies rural merchandise to nearly 2000 independent retail stores across the country.
Agribusiness boss, John Maher, has joined the board of Australian Wool Network, Australia's largest, independent wool marketing and brokering business and a provider of livestock and property market services.
Mr Maher is chief executive officer of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, the former managing director of farm services group Ruralco, and prior to that worked with Wesfarmers and AWB.
AWN chairman, Brendon Lunney, said his appointment would be invaluable as AWN continues to grow in the wool and livestock industries.
Mr Maher (pictured) said he was excited to be asked to be part of AWN at a time of so much opportunity in the agricultural sector.
Other AWN directors are Barry Walker, Ben Barlow and John Colley.
Just as it is poised to absorb Australian agribusiness Ruralco, Canada's farm inputs giant, Nutrien has bought another US venture, the Montana-based, Northern Seed, including its Bozeman research center.
Nutrien Ag Solutions is the world's largest provider of crop inputs and services.
"This is a great opportunity for our business to provide its Montana customers with a broader portfolio of products and services, and elevate our research, marketing and operational capabilities to the next level," said Northern Seed's Ryan Holt
New Zealand dairy giant, Fonterra, will lose one of its valued board members, Simon Israel, when he leaves next month after deciding the farmer co-operative needed to refresh its independent director line-up.
The global milk business, which has endured stormy financial stresses in the past 18 months, is also set to see its chairman, John Monaghan, retire next year, and has begun working on succession plans.
Mr Monaghan said internationally respected directors of Simon Israel's calibre were not easy to come by.
Discussions within the board had focused on succession planing, diversity and the appropriate length farmer directors and independent appointments should sit on the board.
Mr Israel, also the chairman of big Asian telecommunications group, Singtel, and Singapore Post, has been a Fonterra director for six years.
Australia's largest livestock genomics testing laboratory, Neogen Australasia, has expanded its staff footprint, to include Tasmania and Victoria.
Rodney Parker has joined as the genomics territory manager for the two southern states.
His primary focus will be to increase sales, promotion, and placement of Neogen's genomics and genotyping products to the southern beef, sheep and dairy industries, working directly with major producers, breed societies and distributor networks.
Mr Parker (pictured) has more than 30 years' experience in sales and general management to the role, having previously worked in the animal health and stockfeed products sector, as well as retailing general farm inputs.
Neogen operates Australia's largest livestock genomic testing laboratory at Gatton, Queensland.
Working in conjunction with industry bodies Breedplan and Sheep Genetics, it provides DNA testing for a range of genetic traits in both cattle and sheep, including parentage, horn-poll, heritable genetic defects, and productive traits such as growth rates, fat, and eating quality.
A new fresh grocery delivery service has launched on the Gold Coast bringing local produce direct from farms to homes in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
Farm2Market provides local farmers and food suppliers with an effective and affordable way to sell products to customers online.
It has about 40 local businesses on board already, including Freeman's Organic Farm in Currumbin Valley; Mirabrook Pork from Victoria; Australian Natural Food Compny; Chasney Estate Olive Oil; Northern NSW's Bio Organic Farm, and Byron Bay Olive Company.
Delivery fees start from $10.
"It was the Australian dairy farm crisis a few years ago that was the major turning point for my family," said founder, Jordan Pearce (pictured).
"This struggle against the big supermarkets inspired the creation of Farm2Market, along with our passion for supplying families with fresh organic products full of nutrients."
With an IT background, he designed the platform and its delivery network so large numbers of people could be reached, giving local farmers the opportunity to expand and thrive in ways that would otherwise be impossible.
"Farm2Market is all about empowering small businesses, the local farmers and vendors, who are the backbone of our country and in need of our support."
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