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MEDIA RELEASE

Wellard purchases Beaufort River Meats

September 26, 2012

Australian agribusiness Wellard has signalled its confidence in the short and long term future of Australia’s sheep industry by signing an agreement to purchase the Beaufort River Meats abattoir at Woodanilling, WA.

Wellard Executive Chairman Mauro Balzarini said the Beaufort River Meats acquisition:

  • Expands the range of products the company can offer to its overseas clients;
  • Complements the company’s live sheep export business;
  • Provides additional sheep marketing opportunities for farmers; and
  • Satisfies the growing global demand for protein.

“We now can offer sheep producers a “the whole of mob purchase option” because we can select animals which are suitable for export and animals which are suitable for local processing, an option we did not have before. Western Australian producers will benefit from this certainty and can take advantage of that dual demand,” Mr Balzarini said.

“Combined, Beaufort River Meats and Wellard will provide important slaughter and live export competition in the market place that will benefit Western Australian sheep producers.

“Our family has been involved in the processing industry in Italy and Ireland in the past so we have significant experience in the meat processing sector.”

Importantly, the Macri family will remain integrally involved in the abattoir’s operations.

“Wellard is seeking to buy more than bricks and mortar. Our assets are our people and Joe, Anna and their family will enhance this. They are family like we are.”

Beaufort River Meats adds to Wellard’s diversified agribusiness model, which includes live exports, cropping, animal production and farm machinery as part of an end to end, Paddock to Plate model.

Operations at Beaufort River Meats will resume in October after its annual winter shutdown, and Wellard’s buyers will be purchasing stock for both slaughter and live export, providing a total purchasing solution for farmers.

Beaufort River Meats is located only 20 kilometres away from Wellard’s Kojonup Agri Hub, where it produces Hyfield Poll Merino stud rams, runs 12,000 breeding ewes and crops 8,000 hectares , and is also close to the Wellard CLAAS Harvest Centre at Katanning.

“The purchase of Beaufort River Meats means Wellard is an even larger employer and member of the Kojonup community,” Mr Balzarini said.

The Beaufort River abattoir has a capacity of 2500 head per day. The sheep and lambs will be Halal slaughtered and chilled and frozen to supply markets throughout the world.

Details of the purchase terms remain confidential.

For further information please contact:

Cameron Morse
Phone: + 61 8 9485 8888
Mobile: +61 (0) 433 886 871
Website: www.wellard.com.au

Background – Wellard Rural and Trading

Wellard is a world leader in the production and distribution of livestock and grain.

Its two largest subsidiaries are Wellard Rural Exports, Australia’s largest livestock exporter and ship owner, and Wellard Agri, a large mixed farming land owner and operator specialising in the production of grains, legumes and livestock.

Wellard Rural Exports has supplied quality dairy and beef cattle and sheep and goats to the world for more than 30 years, and its investment in the live export industry is without peer.  Based in Fremantle, Western Australia, the company’s operations cover every aspect of the export chain, including feed milling, livestock aggregation, road transport, feedlot facilities throughout Australia and modern shipping.

The company’s flagship carrier, the MV Ocean Drover (formerly the MV Becrux), is a purpose-built livestock carrier capable of carrying 75,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle to major markets around the globe.  She was commissioned in 2002.

Two new, technologically advanced, purpose-built vessels, the MV Ocean Swagman and the MV Ocean Outback, were launched in 2010. They offer unparalleled levels of safety for the livestock, crew and vessel, and can transport 7000 cattle, 25,000 sheep, or a combination of both.

Wellard Agri owns and operates eight farms covering 33,000 hectares across three agri-hubs. The two northern hubs are located at Dongara and Watheroo in Western Australia’s central midlands and one is located at Kojonup in the Great Southern region of WA.

The Dongara hub is home to The Grange, a 14,500 hectare property which is considered one of Western Australia’s blue chip farming properties.

The remaining landholding totals more than 18,000 hectares, of which 14,000 hectares is cropped to a variety of grains and legumes. The other 4000ha is devoted to sheep production, including the famous Hyfield Poll Merino stud at Kojonup. In addition, Wellard leases an additional 14,500ha for livestock and grain production.

Wellard Agri also has operations in the farm machinery sector, through management of the CLAAS Harvest Centres at Katanning, Wongan Hills and Esperance for the Landpower range of farm machinery.

Visit www.wellard.com.au