Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


A quick check around the traps at what some agribusiness players are doing and talking about.


Namoi Cotton's Boydell leaves

Long-serving Namoi Cotton director and former chairman, Stuart Boydell, has retired from the board after 26 years with the farmer-owned business.

His departure prunes the cotton ginning and marketing company's director numbers from seven to six as it continues its drought-enforced cost cutting agenda.

In August 2018 Mr Boydell, who farms at "Cooma", Moree, stepped down from the chairman's role he had held since 1995, replaced by southern NSW cotton grower, Tim Watson, from Hillston.

Mr Boydell, who led the former co-operative through a capital restructure and eventual full public listing in 2017, departed the company this week following a general meeting's 94.4 per cent support for the board's downsizing move.

Mr Watson said a smaller board was consistent with modern governance and would assist management flexibility and succession planning, leaving an equal number of grower and non-grower directors serving the company.


Buying rice from China

SunRice has turned to China to find additional tonnages of grain to service its overseas markets while Australian crop production is squeezed by drought.

The company's Ricegrowers Singapore subsidiary will buy milled white rice from a "strategic commercial partner" in China to supply key markets in the Pacific region.

The supply deal is for the period from May 2020 to April 2021.

Meanwhile, the grower-controlled rice processing and marketing business has confirmed plans to buy 59.7 million of its own B-class shares during a buyback period from February 1 until January next year.

The acquisition plans relate to about 10 per cent of SunRice's Australian Securities Exchange listed share volume, and may be completed prior to the proposed capital management period deadline.


Nutrien grows in Brazil

Canadian agribusiness giant, Nutrien, is to expand its retail footprint in Brazil, buying Agrosema Comercial Agricola.

Agrosema employs about 200 staff and has annual sales worth about $87 million across 12 farm centres.

Nutrien Ag Solutions, which recently absorbed Australia's Ruralco for $470m, already operates two main operations in Brazil, including a central fertiliser blending facility and the Agrichem liquid fertiliser business.

Nutrien chief executive, Chuck Magro, said the company expected to continue to further expand operations in Brazil through acquisition and expansion of product and service offerings.


Qld medical hemp green light

Listed cannabis processor THC Global Group's pharmaceutical bio-floral extraction facility in southern Queensland has been granted a manufacturing licence to start commercial production of medicinal cannabis.

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved THC's plans to make, package and clinically test medicinal cannabis products at its facility in Southport which has been built to meet European market standards.

THC's Southport plant is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere and one of the world's largest pharmaceutical GMP-licenced facilities for medicinal cannabis production.

It plans to launch an oral liquid medicine product followed by additional CBD-THC formulated lines later this year.

THC will utilise Australian-grown hemp and imported crude extract to accelerate local manufacture and medicine availability.

"Receiving a pharmaceutical GMP licence issued by a government authority remains a rarity in the cannabis world," said chief executive officer Ken Charteris.

"We anticipate near-term completions of commercial negotiations with multiple parties interested in our ability to compete on price globally."


Ag supply chain risk course

The 30th annual agricultural commodity markets pricing and supply chain risk management course will be held in Melbourne from February 10 to 14.

The training program is designed for sellers and buyers of farm commodities and rural accountants wanting a better understanding of commodity markets, forward commercial trade markets, supply chain risk, futures-options markets, and risk management.

It is recommended for producers, merchants, end-users, and financial managers needing to make supply chain buying and selling decisions.

The facilitator is Dr John Williams, an author of several publications on agricultural supply chains, trading, price risk challenges, and competition and efficiency.

The program covers themes from an elementary to competency level, and focuses on analyses, management, and tactical decision making.

  • Contact 0428 260549 for more details or


Australian Garlic Producers executive officer, Nick Diamantopoulos.

Australian Garlic Producers executive officer, Nick Diamantopoulos.

Australian makers

The Australian Made Campaign has released a short video series celebrating Australia's evolving manufacturing sector, shining a light on the people, processes and stories behind some of our most loved products.

Among the businesses featured are South Australia's MiniJumbuk and Australian Garlic Producers.

Australian Made chief executive, Ben Lazzaro, highlighted the importance of supporting local businesses this Australia Day, especially in regional and bushfire affected areas, to help communities bounce back.

Established in 1975 in Naracoorte by local shearer, Don Wray, MiniJumbuk has grown to become a global leader in the design and manufacturing of premium wool bedding products.

"I believe MiniJumbuk being based in a regional town in the heart of Australia's prime woolgrowing areas plays a big part in the brand," said managing director, Darren Turner.

"Customers like authenticity, they like traceability.

Australian Garlic Producers, the nation's biggest garlic farming operation, makes Australia's only locally produced garlic oil from crops grown in NSW and Victoria.

AGP chief executive officer, Nick Diamantopoulos, emphasised the importance of looking for the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo when shopping.

"It helps our country. You have to look after your own backyard, and we need to support local products and produce," he said.

Organic farm fire help

Certified organic or biodynamic farmers affected by bushfires may have their full certification and auditing fees waived by compliance business Southern Cross Certified.

SXC will waive audit and certification fees for operators who can demonstrate a direct loss of at least 30 per cent of their ability to generate revenue.

The waiver will also be applied in the event of a loss of a major part of the production unit, or an indirect impact, such as the loss of supply chains.

Annual renewal and audit fees for currently certified SXC operators who can demonstrate loss, will also be waived for 12 months.

Southern Cross chief executive office, Ben Copeman said the magnitude of the fires, together with the drought, has been very tough for all people associated with the rural industry.

"There are over 150 certified operators in the affected regions and many will be impacted by these fires.

"In some cases, their organic status may be affected, to say nothing of the impact on their production for the next 12 months.

"Our offer will, in some small way, help to ease the expense of rebuilding and help keep operators in the organic industry."

  • Contact SXC via or phone 07-3088 2808
  • Start the day with all the big news in agriculture! Click here to sign up to receive our daily Farmonline.

The story Agribusiness buzz in brief first appeared on Farm Online.


From the front page

Sponsored by