Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


A quick look at what some of the players in agribusiness have been up to lately


Deloraine goat milk brand

Nutritional formula business, Bubs Australia, has sealed a deal with on-line retail platform, Alibaba, to capitalise on the growth of China's $2 billion goat dairy market, also launching its new Deloraine line at its Australia Deloraine Dairy in Victoria.

Bubs and key channel partner, Alibaba Centralised Import Procurement (CIP), expect to ship adult goat dairy products, including the CapriLac and Deloraine brand portfolios, worth $10 million in the partnership's first year.

Bubs chief executive officer, Kristy Carr, said a huge and growing market existed for premium adult goat-based dairy products.

"With the experience of marketing our current adult product, Caprilac we are confident an expanded adult goat dairy range will cater to the premium end of the segment with science based functional benefits, including being a high source of calcium, containing naturally A2 goat protein, epidermal growth factor, and Tryptophan - which aids sleep."


Nutrien fert sales knocked

Canadian farm inputs and and farm services giant, Nutrien, has fallen short of its third-quarter profit estimates and cut full-year earnings forecasts after demand for its crop nutrients dipped in North America.

Wet weather which delayed the northern hemisphere planting season, and the US-China trade war's impact on grain market confidence have been blamed for the sales setback.

Nutrien, the world's largest potash produce, cut its annual potash sales volume forecast to between 11.6 million and 12m tonnes having previously tipped up to 13m tonnes.

President, Chuck Magro, said while fourth-quarter expectations were also impacted by short term market softness he believed agricultural market fundamentals were strengthening.

"We expect 2020 to be a strong year for crop input demand for which we are well positioned to benefit," he said.


Another APL chairman

Australian Pork Limited has appointed, Andrew Baxter, as chairman, replacing West Australian seafood and meat industry businessman, David Lock, who had the job for just over a year.

He resigned due to business-related conflicts of interest.

Mr Baxter (pictured), who has been an APL director for two years, had been acting chairman since September.

The former chairman of Publicis Communications, one of Australia's largest communications agency groups, he has more than 30 years of combined non-executive experience.

He chairs the North Queensland indigenous cultural enterprise, Tjapukai, and until recently headed the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation and Deakin School of Business boards.

Mr Baxter also sits on the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and National Basketball League boards.

APL chief executive officer, Margo Andrae, said his diverse expertise would be critical in leading the organisation's new strategic direction, currently under development.


Done deal

Farm services business, Elders, has confirmed it has implemented the scheme of arrangement for the takeover of all shares in Australian Independent Rural Retailers, taking control of the business this week.

Elders issued 13 million new shares and provided total cash payments worth $78.6m to complete the deal to buy the merchandise wholesale and retailing business, which will continue trading separately to the new parent company.

The cash payment included a loan to AIRR to fund its special $2.60 a share dividend paid to shareholders last week.


Cider export initiative

Cider Australia and Wine Australia are joining forces to promote a future go-to-market export strategy and tourism opportunities for cider producers.

The-go-to-market strategy - developed with funding from the Australian Government's $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package - will support craft cider producers marketing their brands overseas.

Key features of the strategy include analysis of the China, Japan, UK and US markets and export market guides outlining the demographics, regulatory environment and import requirements.

Cider Australia president, Sam Reid, said the cider program had brought to life the Australian industry's export vision and united cider producers under a consistent and meaningful brand.

'With cider becoming a global category, now is a great time for Australian cider makers to be pursuing this opportunity," he said.

"A decade ago, only 21 per cent of global cider consumption was outside of Western Europe and this has now moved to 45pc."


CFO change at Bega

After 26 years as Bega Cheese chief financial officer, Colin Griffin stepped aside this week to welcome Pete Findlay to the job.

Mr Griffin continues in Bega's executive leadership team with a new role as executive general manager of the company's contract manufacturing business.

Mr Findlay joins Bega after more than 20 years experience in professional services and senior finance and operational roles with private and publicly owned businesses.

He previously held CFO roles in the manufacturing retail, distribution and information technology sectors.


Thomas Elder recruit

Elders has appointed Daniel Gall as its newest member to its Thomas Elder Consulting (TEC) team.

After observing first-hand the gap in data collection to application on farms, he has built a career helping farmers find solutions using accessible data.

Mr Gall (pictured) brings 15 years of experience with a broad background, initially as a diesel mechanic, and experience in cotton and broadacre cropping.

The role will see him being responsible for identifying and mapping topographical variability, establishing relationships of drainage on crop yield and quality, as well as providing zonal soil testing, conducting characterisation of soil, and statistically analysing relationships between layers of field information.

He will provide recommendations and prescriptions for the management of variability within field and farm.

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