Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


A quick snapshot of some of the news and newsmakers around the agribusiness traps


Lion dairy sell-off option

Japanese brewer Kirin looks to be considering selling its $2 billion Australian dairy and juice business, Lion Dairy and Drinks.

Lion has launched a strategic review of the division options for a new three-year plan, with all options to be canvassed, including retaining and investing in the business and a sale.

Lion’s key brands include the King Island and South Cape cheese names, Dairy Farmers and Pura milk, Big M and Dare flavoured milk, Yoplait and Farmers Union yoghurt, and Berri fruit juice.

It is Australia's second-largest milk processor, with an estimated 19 per cent share of the processing market, buying almost 1b litres of milk a year.

Kirin paid $2.8 billion for the then National Foods in 2007 and $910m for NSW-based co-operative Dairy Farmers in 2008, but has struggled to achieve satisfactory returns in a cut-throat dairy marketplace, despite closing most Dairy Farmers plants and streamlining its brands and production.

Since 2010, and during a recent three-year restructure the value of the dairy business was written down by $2.14 billion since 2010.


GrainKing’s RFDS bin raises $55,000

West Australian farm machinery manufacturer GrainKing will donate $55,000 to the Royal Flying Doctor Service following the successful auction of a specially built, 40,000 litre Nyrex chaser bin.

The successful bid of $75,250 was made by Avon Ranyer from Carnamagh in the WA wheatbelt.

The Nyrex chaser bin painted in special RFDS livery was auctioned while on show at WA’s Dowerin Field Day on August 27.

GrainKing suppliers combined to donate goods and services covering a significant portion of the construction cost which enabled GrainKing to donate $55,000.

Nyrex bins use a Strenx product that is 25 per cent lighter than steel plate and provides a longer life than conventional bins.

Keytone factory build starts

New Zealand’s Australian-listed Keytone Dairy Corporation has begun construction of its second manufacturing facility in Christchurch to increase its total powdered product manufacturing capacity to 5000 tonnes a year.

Keytone makes and exports formulated powder products under its own brand and is a contract packing partner for well-known brands in New Zealand and internationally.

Steel structures for the framework of the manufacturing facility and the associated warehouse have been erected and the facility is on schedule for completion by June.

The factory will have an automated powder canning line, a blender, a sterilised packing room and sachet packing lines.

Pork performance check

Australian Pork Limited (APL) wants feedback from stakeholders and interested parties, as part of an independent review of its performance.

A performance review is required every three years prior to completing and renewing APL’s Funding Agreement with the Commonwealth Government to ensure the company is improving and meeting industry needs.

Forest Hill Consulting will be contacting a selection of stakeholders until October to discuss APL’s accountability and transparency,    responsiveness to government research and development priorities, public good activities and more.

Submission to the review, or queries relating to this review can be sent to by October 12.

Rural women’s UTS scholarship

Women from regional areas aspiring to careers in business can apply for a new scholarship at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) thanks to the generosity of Don Koch and Jennifer Frances.

The Koch and Frances Inclusion & Diversity Scholarship aims to increase the participation of women in business, and provide support for those experiencing hardship.

It will provide $18,000 over three years towards cost-of-living and tuition fees.

Mr Koch, who grew up in regional NSW, understands a little of the struggles currently facing families in rural and regional communities, particularly with the worst drought in 30 years.

“Jennifer and I are returning to Australia after many years overseas and we felt we wanted to give something back to the community.”

Their studies helped launch stellar careers in the banking and IT industries.

Mr Koch studied a Master of Banking and Finance at UTS Business School and Ms Frances a Master of International Business at University of Sydney.

He later headed ING Direct Australia and ING Bank Italy, and most recently was in Beijing for ING Asia, while Ms Frances is a senior executive in the financial services sector in Australia, and has worked globally with IBM.

Scholarship applications are encouraged via

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


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