Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


A quick check on some of the players and people making news in agribusiness


Red flesh apple trial

Southern hemisphere members of the Ifored horticulture marketing consortium, including Australia’s Montague company, have harvested a new apple line with pink to intense red coloured flesh.

The apples were developed under the Kissabel project and also involve trials by the Unifrutti brand in Chile, Mono Azul (Argentina), and Dutoit (South Africa).

Southern hemisphere production is expected to deliver the first commercial harvest quantities within three years.

In Australia production is located at Taggerty in southern Victoria and Legana in northern Tasmania.

“Growing conditions in southern Australia over the summer were very warm and dry,” said Montague Fresh general manager Rowan Little.

“The result across the whole apple category was fruit with lots of natural sugars.

“This was also the case with the Kissabel fruit in Victoria which showed brix levels up to 17, with the best performing varieties exhibited great red flesh colour and a sweet-acid flavor with lots of berry tones.

Initially the new fruit will be targeted to the domestic Australian market, however near Asian markets will also be a focus.

US organic sales lure Tyson

The biggest meat processor in the US, Tyson foods is pushing into the organic chicken market, buying the Smart Chicken brand in Nebraska.

Smart Chicken is owned by Tecumseh Poultry which sells chicken sausages and organic chicken cuts and owns poultry farms as well as two processing plants.

Organic chicken sales grew about 11 per cent in 2017-18 in the US to be worth a reported $450 million, while conventional chicken sales are growing at 3pc and are worth about $10b

Tyson has been moving its focus towards higher profit brand name products instead of commodity meat lines, spending about $16 billion in five years to build its footprint with household names such as Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs.  

Julie McDonald with 2018 award winner Thomas Macdonald, and chairman of the Zanda McDonald Award,  Richard Rains.

Julie McDonald with 2018 award winner Thomas Macdonald, and chairman of the Zanda McDonald Award, Richard Rains.

Zanda McDonald Award open

The search is on for talented young agri-leaders, aged 35 or under, from New Zealand and Australia for the 2019 Zanda McDonald Award.

The award, considered one of Australasia’s most prestigious badges of honour for young primary industry leaders, comes with a prize package worth more than $50,000.

It is run by the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Group - a network of influential agribusiness men and women - providing the winner direct access to the wealth of knowledge that exists within the group’s membership.

They also receive an all-expenses paid overseas mentoring trip, a place on Rabobank's Farm Managers course and $1000 cash prize.

Applications close on August 24. For more details visit

New on FRRR board

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) has appointed new board members, Sue Middleton and Andrew McKenzie.

FRRR chairman, Ian Sinclair, said the new directors bring valuable skills, experience and networks to the FRRR board.

“Sue is a highly respected advocate for rural and regional Australia, especially Western Australia,” he said.

Sue Middleton

Sue Middleton

“Her appointment will ensure we have someone who understands the unique issues and challenges facing communities in the west.

“Andrew’s deep understanding of finance and investment, combined with his experience as a trustee of John T Reid Charitable Trusts, which has been a donor partner to FRRR over many years, will enable him to make a highly valuable contribution to the board.

Sue Middleton and her husband Michael, managed a diversified farm in the WA Wheatbelt growing grain, oaten hay, and pork and have developed Moora Citrus on a 210 hectare orchard near Dandaragan, also in WA.

Andrew McKenzie

Andrew McKenzie

Andrew McKenzie lives  in Sydney, having originally studied agricultural science at Longerenong Agricultural College in the Victorian Wimmera.

He spent 20 years working in building product manufacturing then commenced work in financial and investment advice.

He is currently a director at Ethinvest, where he has worked since 2006, providing tailored financial advice and creating investment portfolios for clients.

COFCO consolidates

Chinese food processing and agricultural commodity trading giant, COFCO International, has confirmed it is consolidating its Australia offices to one existing location in Melbourne.

The Hong Kong listed business would close its Toowoomba office from the start of July.

COFCO remained dedicated to providing the highest level of service to its growers, domestic consumers and export customers, and committed to its Queensland and NSW markets.

Alltech’s organic expansion

Alltech Crop Science, the agronomic division of Alltech, has attained organic certification in North America for two of its naturally based micronutrient products: Grain-Set and Agro-Mos.

The two fertilisers, which are based on amino acid and fermentation technology, join the company’s other Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)-certified products, including Soil-Set, Crop-Set and Galvanize Contact, increasing options for organic growers to meet the nutritional needs of their crops.

“Consumers are demanding more natural products that are sustainable and traceable, and we’re excited to be able to offer an expanded organically certified line to our growers who are looking to meet those demands,” said Alltech Crop Science general manager Dr Steven Borst.

He said the company now offered a certified organic product for every stage of a plant’s growth cycle.

  • Do you have an agribusiness event or newsy developments within your organisation which could feature in Agribusiness Buzz? Contact

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


From the front page

Sponsored by