Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief

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What's been happening around the traps in agribusiness

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Blundies mark 150th

Tasmanian-based work boot brand, Blundstone, celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2020 with planned releases of a limited-edition #9150 safety boot and a limited-edition #150 casual boot.

Established in 1870, Blundstone remains fully family-owned and continues to be shaped by the vision and values of its founders and owners.

John Blundstone started making fit-for-purpose footwear to withstand Hobart's cobbled city streets, rugged surrounding farmland, and dance and factory floors, in the late-1800s.

"Only a handful of brands have been in existence for 150 years and an even smaller number remain family-owned," said Blunstone chief executive officer, Steve Gunn.

"The success of the Blundstone brand is that we have always remained true to our heritage.

"Blundstone boots were born tough to weather the untamed terrain of Tasmania, they have marched in armies and dug deep on Everest.

"Today, our boots continue to work hard, exploring the world while simultaneously pounding the pavements of fashion capitals globally."

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NAB bushfire help

National Australia Bank has extended its contribution to bushfire recovery efforts to $5 million, to provide immediate relief to business and agriculture customers and support longer-term recovery and rebuilding efforts in communities across Australia.

Additional measures include a further $3m to the NAB Disaster Relief fund (to a total of $4 million) and extending its $2000 emergency relief and recovery grants to impacted business owners and farmers.

The fund will also support longer-term efforts to help impacted communities recover and rebuild.

NAB has also made a further $750,000 in donations (to a total of $1m) to both the Australian Red Cross' disaster preparedness, relief & recovery efforts, and donations to local organisations in impacted communities over the coming weeks and months.

Chief executive officer, Ross McEwan, said the scale of the bushfires was devastating and had left many Australians with an uncertain future.

Additional support now available for NAB business and agribusiness customers directly impacted by bushfires includes $2000 grants to help restart or reopen and cover the cost of damaged property, equipment, fencing - and for loss of stock or livestock.

  • NAB agribusiness customers wishing to access the grants should call (1300) 023 429.

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Movie goers help, too

Palace Cinemas nationwide will donate $2 from each cinema session ticket sold on Sunday, January 19 to raise vital funds for Australian bushfire aid.

The appeal is part of an industry-wide initiative, with all major cinemas and the majority of independents joining together to participate.

The funds raised will be split between the Australian Red Cross, The Salvation Army bushfire appeal and RSPCA's bushfire appeal,

The Red Cross, disaster relief and recovery effort which is supporting thousands of people in recovery hubs by providing first aid, food, water and relief items as well as psychological assistance and emergency grants; the Salvation Army is providing emotional and material support to firefighters, volunteers and evacuees and the RSPCA is helping fire-affected animals

Palace Cinema management said the group's staff were deeply moved by the work of all firefighters, volunteers, and charities helping our country and was committed to assisting in this time of need.

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Perich's donate $1m

The Perich family dairy farming and processing investment partnership, Perich Group, has donated $1 million to NSW Farmers Natural Disaster Relief Fund to help rebuild bushfire affected farms and restore local food and fibre production in South East NSW.

The donation will primarily go towards supporting dairy farmers directly impacted by fire, or those unable to access fodder and water, or distribute milk due to road closures or electricity outages.

The family's business interests are based on the Leppington Pastoral Company's 2000-cow dairy at Bringelly south west of Sydney; the Australian Fresh Milk Holdings business, which owns Moxey Farms in NSW and the Coomboona dairy in northern Victoria, milking about 10,000 cows, and a 10 per cent stake in Freedom Foods.

Established at Leppington by migrants Kolombo and Julia Perich in 1951, milking 25 cows, the Perich dairy business has grown under the leadership of sons Tony and Ron and their families.

"This is a tremendous donation from the Perich family, who are keen to support fellow farmers in a time of need," said NSW Farmers' president James Jackson said.

"We want others to join us in supporting this bushfire appeal" said Tony Perich.

"Our donation is a start and we will encourage everyone we know to help too,"

NSW Farmers is working with charities, including Rapid Relief Team (RRT), Rural Aid, Lions Need for Feed, and Blaze Aid to deliver the donation in a targeted response to dairy farmers.

GrainCorp terminals re-named

ANZ Terminals has begun the new year as the new owner of most of GrainCorp's Liquid Terminals (Australia) business, and a new brand for its combined business - Quantem.

Chief executive officer, Nick Moen, said the completion of the transaction, which was under extensive scrutiny from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for almost nine months, marked the beginning of a new chapter for the business to grow its presence in Australia and New Zealand.

"Bringing our two organisations together creates a truly unique business in the bulk liquid storage and handling industry.

Quantem now provided bulk liquid storage solutions at 12 port locations throughout Australia and NZ with storage capacity of around 600,000 cubic metres.

"Our focus now is to successfully integrate our two businesses, leveraging the skills and experience of our people and resources to continue to deliver bulk storage solutions for our customers," Mr Moen said.

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AGL buys regional phone firm

Energy giant, AGL, has moved into the telecommunications business, paying $27.5 million for the NSW local government-owned Southern Phone Company.

Last month 35 regional councils agreed to sell their respective shares in Southern Phone to AGL for $785,714 each

They had made their initial investment for just $2 each 18 years ago.

Since 2002, Southern Phone, based at Moruya on the NSW South Coast, has grown to become one of Australia's largest regional telecommunications companies with more than 100,000 customers Australia-wide, and 150 staff.

AGL managing director, Brett Redman, said the deal marked a new era for AGL as it converged energy and data together to create more streamlined services for "the ever-growing connected customer".

"We remain confident we can continue to evolve as a multi-product brand across energy, data and related products.

"We know many of the councils who will receive this money have been struggling through drought and the recent devastating bushfires, so we hope this provides a critical boost to their budgets during these challenging times."

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Namoi cuts former chief

Namoi Cotton's chief financial officer, Stuart Greenwood, has become another victim of the company's dramatic staff cuts, leaving the ginning and marketing business late last month.

Mr Greenwood, who temporarily took the helm while the business searched for a new chief executive officer for several months last year, has been replaced by financial controller, Mike Newbury.

An executive search is underway to fill Mr Newbury's old position, with internal and outside candidates being considered for the job.

In early December Namoi Cotton surprised growers and staff with a savage cull of about 50 staff across its NSW and Queensland network as a result of drought-forced spending cuts.

The job cuts represented about a third of the company's employee base.

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Taree Christian College students accepting their prize, Kaylee Green, Thomas Omalley-Jones, and Lucy Connon, with principal, David Coleman.

Taree Christian College students accepting their prize, Kaylee Green, Thomas Omalley-Jones, and Lucy Connon, with principal, David Coleman.

Taree sings dairy success

Dairy ingredients products and livestock milk replacer producer, Maxum Foods, has chosen Taree Christian College on the NSW Mid North Coast, as winner of its challenge to produce a 60-second commercial promoting the Australian dairy industry.

The winning video, which earnt the school a $1000 prize, explained why the best and brightest students should pursue a career in the dairy industry.

Maxum's MaxCare brand is the major supply partner to Dairy Australia's Cows Create Careers program.

MaxCare business manager, Tom Newton said Taree Christian College "knocked this challenge out of the park".

"The video not only gave great insight into the life of a dairy farmer, but the thought and effort put into filming this commercial was excellent, we loved the catchy tune."

MaxCare opened the voting process to the public attracting 500 votes on its Facebook page and website.

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