VERTICALLY integrated beef company Australian Country Choice (ACC) has today unveiled its agreement with Asian investment firm, Genius Link Asset Management (GLAM), to jointly build a new integrated Australian beef and livestock supply chain business.
The new enterprise which has been a year is the making will provide the opportunity to complement ACC’s domestic supply chain while also expanding opportunities for export sales reads a joint statement issued this afternoon.
ACC is a group of companies controlled by the Lee family, who are currently one of Australia’s largest privately owned land and cattle owners with extensive beef breeding, growing, farming, lot feeding and vertically integrated processing interests in Queensland.
ACC group managing director David Foote said the announcement came at a significant time for the broader red meat industry, as the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement unlocked unprecedented market access for the Australian beef and live cattle trade.
“By combining our longstanding and recognised industry expertise with Genius Link's access to investment capital, the Lee family business can continue to build on its already significant beef interests,” Mr Foote said.
“Collectively we remain committed to expanding our domestic supply arrangements with our long term customer Coles, while with GLAM’s support; we believe we can accelerate the further development into international markets for Australian beef.
“Our new strategic partner clearly recognises the long term outlook for the Australian beef industry and is wishing to significantly co-invest with ACC to realise this potential. This partnership model for patient investment capital to optimise our industry’s opportunities is long overdue in Australian agriculture.”
GLAM vice-chairman Joel Chang said that GLAM was honoured to partner with the Lee family and the ACC group of companies.
“As GLAM looks to develop its investment portfolio in agriculture, we have had significant interest from potential investors in wanting to deploy capital in Australia,” Mr Chang said. “We recognise the importance in working collaboratively with local partners to achieve success.”
ACC Group chairman Trevor Lee said the agreement with GLAM would form the foundation to identify other potentially suitable projects in the Australian beef supply chain, while jointly exploring export opportunities.
“We are proud of my family’s business record in the Australian beef industry and see this agreement as an extension to our existing footprint,” Mr Lee said.
“This may take the form of acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures or long term leases; but most importantly, this partnership approach will ensure our on ground success will come from ACC’s beef industry management expertise which is integral in the day to day operations and long term success of these opportunities.
“The time is right for Australian agriculture to embrace foreign investment, be it from China or as in the past from other countries , and we believe the best model is one of "partnership" utilising the core skills of each party We are pleased to be part of this progress within the industry.”
In addition to its processing facility at Cannon Hill in Brisbane, ACC owns, leases and manages 54 Queensland properties - totaling 662,500 hectares. These properties accommodate around 11,000 breeding cows, 105,000 young growing cattle and 30,000 young cattle in feedlots to provide 150,000 head of cattle a year for processing.
According to its website, ACC’s processing facility at Cannon Hill in Brisbane can handle up to 1125 cattle a day producing about 67,000 tonnes of beef a year.
ACC also has a further processing facility, incorporating stir-fry and diced beef and veal, beef sausages, corned, marinated, glazed and coated beef and veal products, corned beef silverside and hamburger patties has current annual production of over 15 million kilograms for national distribution.
The retail ready facility currently cuts, prepares, packs and distributes over 20 million kg of Coles fresh read meat products along the northern foot print of the eastern sea board.
More than 75 per cent of the current production is destined for Coles retail outlets with the balance exported to some 24 countries.