Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


A quick check around the traps at what some agribusiness players have been up to


APVMA kicks goals in Armidale

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority has largely completed its move from Canberra to Armidale and achieved an 87 per cent completion rate for registration applications within its target timeframe.

APVMA also made big improvements in the on-time assessment of major product applications in the December quarter, rising from 60pc in the September 2019 quarter to 80pc.

Chief executive officer, Dr Chris Parker, said the APVMA's hard working staff were "getting the job done".

The total number of overdue major product registration applications had declined from 223 in July 2017 to near 50.

The proportion of work in progress within the time frame for all product applications had jumped from 67pc to 92pc in the same period.

"We continue to focus our attention on the timeliness of regulatory decisions for the introduction of safe and effective agricultural and veterinary chemicals to the Australian market," Dr Parker said.

"This includes the world-first registration of new chemistry for the control of annual ryegrass."


Costa looks to The Yield

Technology company, The Yield Technology Solutions, has expanded its customer relationship with listed agribusiness, Costa Group, rolling out its Sensing+ solution across eight berry farms in NSW Queensland and Tasmania.

Costa is a leading Australian grower, packer and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables supplying supermarket chains, independent grocers and buyers in Asia, North America and Europe.

Sensing+ combines sensors and analytics to provide information and predictions in easy-to-use apps to help large commercial growers make timely on-farm decisions on irrigating, fertilising, planting, crop protection and harvest.

"Our berries are grown in tunnels and Sensing+ measures the growing conditions in our microclimates and uses artificial intelligence to give us in-tunnel weather predictions," said Costa Group chief executive officer, Harry Debney,.

"We have been impressed with the accuracy achieved to date compared with our current manual approach."


ACCC seeks ag guidance 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's agriculture consultative committee (AgCC) is seeking expressions of interest from potential panel members to serve in 2020 and 2021.

The consultative committee was established by the ACCC to provide advice and information on issues affecting the farm sector which fall within the scope of the Competition and Consumer Act, and to provide a forum where competition and consumer law concerns can be considered and addressed.

Members are drawn from a range of backgrounds and industries within the farm sector, including peak bodies, industry associations, and industry advisors.

Committee meetings, chaired by ACCC deputy chairman, Mick Keogh, are held twice a year, but the ACCC does not pay sitting fees, or meet costs incurred by committee members.

Representatives of agriculture-related organisations interested in applying are invited to submit nominees by February 28.


Kellogg re-thinks palm oil

Pressure from the San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network has convinced big US food processor, Kellogg Company, to revise its palm oil and deforestation policies.

Just weeks after the environmental activist group released an analysis of various global food brands' progress towards fulfilling their 2020 deforestation promises, Kellogg has released revised palm oil and deforestation policies.

In RAN's prior analysis, Kellogg Company was rated the worst-performer among its food industry peers.

Its new commitments include protecting remaining forests and restoring forests and ecosystems which have been lost or degraded.

The company will also immediately suspend company groups which perpetrate threats and violence towards human rights defenders, communities and workers.

RAN has applauded Kellogg Company for being the first brand to highlight human rights defenders.


SA-Vic recruit for Incitec 

Incitec Pivot Fertilisers, has strengthened its agronomy team in South Australia and western Victoria by appointing James Stewart as technical agronomist.

Mr Stewart is well known around Hamilton and South West Victoria for his agronomy knowledge and practical advice at Vickery Bros where he worked for 12 years, and prior to that with Elders.

One of his first priorities will be to support customers in bushfire affected regions like Kangaroo Island, to help restore pastures and cropping soils to productivity.

Incitec Pivot agronomy director, Jan Edwards, said the company's six agronomists were industry leaders in plant nutrition, working closely with agronomists and farmers to provide practical, science-based advice.

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