Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


A quick wrap up of some of the businesses, people and issues making news in agribusiness.


Nuchev milks goat market

Another goat milk infant formula player has listed on the Australian Securities Exchange with a keen eye on the export opportunities in China.

Nuchev, which founded in Melbourne six years ago, produces and markets the Oli6 range of goat formula products in Australian and Asian markets, with plans to expand into other health and nutrition products in the future.

Its ASX launch follows Bubs Australia's listing in 2017 and its dramatic expansion in the export and domestic markets.

Nuchev shares floated at $2.60 each this week, but trading hit highs around $3.40, as investors jumped to be involved in the goat dairy formula market.

Australian industry sales have exploded from about $5 million a year early in the decade to be worth more than $100 million today - or about 10 per cent of the local infant formula market.

About 13pc of Chinese infant formula sales expected to be goat milk powder by 2023.

Nurchev is led by executive director and major shareholder, Ben Dingle, who in 2000 also founded New Zealand's Synlait milk formula powder business, which is the main supplier of A2 Milk Company's Platinum infant formula product, and part owned by A2 Milk.


Nutrien boss at Outlook 2020

Next year's agricultural Outlook conference in Canberra is promising some big gun identities as drawcard speakers on March 3 and 4.

The lineup includes president of Canadian farm inputs giant, Nutrien, Chuck Magro; Alibaba Group's Australia and New Zealand managing director, Maggie Zhou; Australian Agricultural Company managing director, Hugh Killen; pioneering Wagyu beef entrepreneur, David Blackmore; the International Meat Secretariat's Hsin Huang; University of Queensland Chancellor Peter Varghese; Jeffrey Schott from Washington's Peterson Institute for International Economics, and Eduardo Pedrosa from the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, among others.

Sessions at Outlook 2020 will explore the practical steps to reaching $100 billion in farm output by 2030, what sectors will need to boost productivity and technology adoption to be the farms of tomorrow and who will benefit from new export markets?

Early bird bookings, including dinner, cost $1100 each and close January 24.


ChemChina-Sinochem merger?

Talk of a merger between China's super-sized state-owned chemical conglomerates, ChemChina and Sinochem Group, is keeping observers guessing.

Speculation about the two joining forces dates back about three years, but recent media reports quoting Sinochem officials suggested the challenges of bringing management teams together and restructuring ownership of ChemChina's global farm chemical businesses Adama and Syngenta, and other assets, were too complex.

However, Reuters news agency followed up last month with fresh comments from Sinochem Group chairman, Frank Ning Gao Ning, saying emphatically a planned merger was still in progress and would involve listing Syngenta on the Shanghai stock exchange.

He said both state chemical companies were very big and had a lot of financial and legal issues to work though.


Pernod Ricard Winemakers' Australian operations director, Robert Taddeo, and chief operations officer, Brett McKinnon checking out one of the newly installed solar power installations.

Pernod Ricard Winemakers' Australian operations director, Robert Taddeo, and chief operations officer, Brett McKinnon checking out one of the newly installed solar power installations.

Wine giant goes solar

South Australia's Pernod Ricard Winemakers has become the first large wine company in Australia to fully operate using renewable electricity.

The commitment covers all wines from the Australian wine brands Jacob's Creek, St Hugo and Wyndham Estate.

The company has installed Australia's largest combined winery solar project and signed a 10-year agreement to source renewable electricity for all its Australian sites.

Energy company, AGL, installed more than 10,300 solar panels at Pernod Ricard Winemakers' two Barossa Valley wineries, and expects to annually generate 4000 megawatt-hours of power, or enough to power the equivalent of nearly 800 SA homes.

Pernod Ricard is also the first SA wine company connected to both offsite wind and solar farms as a result of a 10-year Virtual Generation Agreement with wholesale electricity retailer Flow Power.

Pernod Ricard Winemakers' chief operations officer, Brett McKinnon, said the project, which began in 2016 with a pilot solar installation, demonstrated a commitment to be a leader in sustainability and responsibility.


Bayer backs blokes' health

Farm chemical business Bayer Australia has lifted its funding to rural men's mental health initiative, the 2020 Bayer Big Fish Challenge, to $30,000.

The year-long national challenge, launches on 1 January 1, with Bayer contributing $1 to the Bayer AgSpirit Fund for each centimetre of the largest fish per type caught by each team.

The AgSpirit Fund is raising money to help farmers struggling with the pressures of everyday life in challenging conditions.

Next year it will will send up to 16 nominated "rural blokes" on a four day men's mental wellbeing program developed in conjunction with charity partner 'The Fly Program'.

Bayer key account manager, Ben Thompson said a new Big Fish Challenge app would enable entries to be easily uploaded.

"We hope the competition raises awareness on men's mental health and encourages farmers to open up, talk about their struggles, and recharge their batteries."

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