Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


A quick check on what's some of the players are up up to in the world of agribusiness


Heritage goes fully Dutch

Prominent pasture seed supplier, Heritage Seeds, is to change its name to Barenbrug from October 28.

The name change brings Heritage Seeds, which employs 110 people in Australia, in line with its parent company, the Dutch-based Royal Barenbrug Group.

Barenbrug bought into Heritage Seeds in 1990 and has fully-owned the company since 1996.

The Royal Barenbrug Group is a leading worldwide creator of forage and turf lines, with 22 research and development locations creating grasses for all major climate zones.

Barenbrug managing director, Toby Brown (pictured), said the same service and products would continue, embracing the 114 years of experience of the parent company, and the advantages of its global network.

The name change coincides with the opening of a new $15 million warehouse facility in Toowoomba.


ASX exposes CropLogic 

New Zealand-based, but locally-listed agronomy analytical advice company, CropLogic, has been placed on the Australian Securities Exchange watchlist after failing to disclose director, Stephen Silver, was once banned as a share broker in the US for six months.

Mr Silver, who recently joined the board, was also the principal of Hunter Capital, which advised CropLogic and assisted its listing on the ASX in 2017.

The ASX said the manner in which CropLogic had responded to its inquiries was unsatisfactory and the company had not complied with ASX corporate governance principals and recommendations about director checks and disclosures.

The ASX decision to "name and shame" CropLogic followed the revelation Mr Silver was suspended by the US broking regulatory body FINRA prior to working in Australia where he most recently established Evolution Capital Advisors.


ACCC delays GrainCorp sale verdict

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has extended its review of GrainCorp's sale plans for Australian Bulk Liquid Terminals sites to ANZ Terminals, announced in March.

The proposed $350 million sale, which is also subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval, is now expected to have an ACCC verdict at the end of this month.

In July the competition regulator noted the sale of the eight oils, fats and fuel storage facilities to ANZ would remove a significant competitor in what was an already concentrated industry.

ANZ is owned by an infrastructure investment group whose primary backers include prominent regional livestock selling centre and airport asset owner, Palisade Investment Partners.


New SPC hires workers

The new owners at northern Victorian fruit and vegetable processor, SPC Operations will boost its permanent workforce by about 40 people, offering full-time engineering and services positions after reviewing current outsourcing arrangements.

The company, sold by Coca-Cola Amatil in July, will also reintroduce an apprenticeship program with two mechanical apprenticeships commencing in January 2020 followed by another two in 2021.

SPC is also partnering with Shepparton GoTafe locally to assist with recruitment of 500-plus seasonal employees for the upcoming fruit season.

SPC Operations chief executive, Robert Giles, said the company was thrilled to be able to provide opportunities for the growth and development of mechanically-minded youth in the region.

"With our new owners, Shepparton Partners Collective, we have reviewed our workforce and decided it was in the interests of the business to commit to creating permanent roles for key engineering and services positions within SPC."


APL's swine fever focus

The threats and opportunities facing the pig industry as African swine fever spreads across Asia will be addressed when newly appointed Australian Pork Limited chief executive officer, Margo Andrae, talks to the Farm Writers Association on October 25.

By the end of the year, African swine flu is expected to have killed a quarter of the world's pigs.

There is no vaccine and no cure and recently it was detected less than 700 kilometres from Australia's northern shores.

Ms Andrae (pictured) will discuss the threat to Australian pork production and challenges posed by wild pigs in northern Australia and illegal pork imports.

If Australia can remain free of the disease local pork and other protein producers stand to make big gains filling the massive gap in demand.

  • Bookings at close on October 23.


Dried fruit forum

Water availability, horticultural technological innovation and the future of the dried grape industry will be the focus of the this year's Dried Fruits Australia grower forum on October 31 at Mildura Working Man's Club.

Open to anyone with an interest in the dried grape industry, the forum follows the DFA's annual general meeting at 1pm.

Guest speakers will include Sunrise Mapping's Sue Argus presenting results of the dried grape industry data collection project; SuniTAFE's Warren Lloyd, discussing new farm technology, Lower Murray Water managing director, Anthony Couroupis, and Western Murray Irrigation's Judith Damiani, providing water updates from the Victorian and NSW sides of the river.

"Agriculture in the region is booming, which creates both opportunities and risks," Mr Couroupis said.

"The main challenges LMW customers face are associated with the cost and volume of water required to meet the needs of their crops.

"LMW is determined to support irrigators and the integrity of the water markets by ensuring compliance."

  • Contact DFA on 03-5023 5174 or via

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