National agribusiness winner
Victorian-based abalone company, Yumbah Aquaculture, has won the Agribusiness Award at this year’s Australian Export Awards (AEA).
Businesses are measured against their peers based on the strength of their international growth, marketing and financial strategies.
Yumbah has four on-shore abalone farms at Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island in South Australia; Narrawong, Victoria, and Bicheno in Tasmania.
It has more than 80 full-time staff at its four farms and support businesses generating about $25 million turnover this year.
About 80 per cent of the 700 tonnes of abalone grown by Yumbah sells to South East Asia, the US and Europe.
The 55-year-old national awards recognise Australian businesses for their export achievements and overall contribution to the nation’s economic prosperity.
Director, Anthony Hall, said the agribusiness award win was a significant achievement following its Governor of Victoria Export Awards win in October.
The company, the largest abalone producer in the southern hemisphere, is considering further expansion options.
New Webster CEO
Walnut producer and big broadacre irrigator, Webster Limited, has appointed its company secretary and chief financial officer, Maurice Felizzi, to a new chief executive officer’s position from January.
He takes over as the executive chairman and major shareholder, Chris Corrigan, relinquishes part of that role, although will remain chairman of the board.
Mr Felizzi joined the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area-based Webster business in April last year having previously been head the Johnson Property Group, Clarendon Homes and holding chief financial officer positions with Great Southern Energy and Pacific Magazines.
Mr Corrigan said Mr Felizzi had done an “exemplary job” in consolidating Webster’s financial and administrative systems.
The historic former Tasmanian company had inherited a diverse array of management arrangements after its big 2014-15 acquisition phase when it took over the Tandou business in Far West NSW and cropping assets in the state’s North West.
GrainCorp site opened
GrainCorp has officially opened its newest grain receival site at Cunningar near Harden in southern NSW.
The site underwent a $8.1 million upgrade jointly funded by the federal government, local community, Hilltops Council and GrainCorp.
The upgraded site now can load a 44-wagon train 80 per cent faster in just five hours and cut the turnaround time between GrainCorp’s closest receival site to Port Kembla from 48 to 24 hours.
“The Cunningar site project has set the benchmark of how public, private and growers can come together to deliver a fantastic outcome for the whole community,” said GrainCorp operations general manager, Nigel Lotz.
Barley body movement
Barley Australia’s executive chairman Andrew Gee will retire at the end of December, replaced by current executive manager Dr Megan Sheehy who has an extensive brewing and malting background and has held the role for two years.
Barley Australia is the peak association and quality assurance body for companies involved in the barley trade and processing sector.
Mr Gee has been in his role for seven years.
Ralph Nischwitz has been appointed the new executive manager after more than 25 years of malting industry experience.
Internet acclaim for eggs
Victorian egg farm Freeranger Eggs has received international recognition as having one of the top 20 egg industry internet blog sites in the world.
Internet content reader Feedspot has given the the South Gippsland Freeranger Eggs blog the accolade.
Anne Westwood, who runs the farm with her husband Phil said “last year our blog was in the top 50, now we are top 20”.
“Who knows, next year ours might be the best egg blog in the world – just like our eggs are the best.”
The farm uses no colouring additives in the chickens’ feed, unlike an estimated 90 per cent of more of Australian egg producers.
Dow preserves more food
Dow Industrial Solutions is to expand its propionic acid facility in Texas City, USA, to meet rising global demand for longer lasting foods and animal feed and grain alternatives.
Propionic acid is primarily an anti-mould and anti-bacterial agent for animal feeds and grains, ensuring less product is wasted.
It is also used as a food preservative in baked goods and cheese, as well as an anti-mould agent for various bread products.
The plant’s expansion supports follows similar efficiency improvements at the Texas facility in 2015 and this year.
The company noted as rising incomes were shifting consumers towards higher quality products and and sustainability in livestock feed production trends around the globe, while increasingly on-the-go lifestyles were demanding longer shelf-life packaged food.
The company, is a division of Dow Chemical, which recently merged with global rival giant DuPont to form DowDuPont, a holding company intended to be split into three, independent, publicly traded companies in agriculture, materials science and specialty sectors.