Despite being an arid land, the agriculture business in Australia contributes significantly to the country’s economy. Encompassing a range of activities like primary production, processing, manufacturing, and wholesaling, there are about 87,800 agricultural businesses in the country (as of June 2020), 99% of which are Australian owned. The country produces an array of primary products including wheat, milk, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and meat, which contributes to the country’s GDP, and exports beef, wheat, wine, dairy, wool, and lamb. The agricultural sector of the country is known for its modern technologies and infrastructure, water resource management, recycling and reclamation technologies.
In this article, we have discussed
- 5 leading agricultural businesses in Australia, and
- 5 recent farming trends in Australia
But first, we need to know what Agricultural Business is?
Commonly known as agribusiness, agricultural business involves farming, management production, and marketing of agricultural commodities like crops and livestock. This field of business includes resource management, farming, conservation, ranching, and sales.
5 Leading Agricultural Businesses in Australia
Australian Agricultural Company:
Abbreviated to AACo, the Australian Agricultural Company is one of the leading suppliers of beef and agricultural products across the globe. This company owns and operates feedlots and farms comprising about 7 million hectares of land in Queensland and the Northern Territory, which is about 1% of the country’s land mass. AACo was established in 1824 and is the country’s oldest continuously operating company, known to develop high-end operating systems, receiving company-wide accreditation through the LPAQA, EUCAS, NFAS, WQA and MSA quality assurance programs.
Newcastle Agri Terminal
Established by Jock Carter and Martin MacKay in 2009, Newcastle Agri Terminal (NAT) is an independent logistics company with its headquarters in Carrington, New South Wales. This company provides grain supply chain solutions for exporters that help them enhance the farm gate returns for growers. Newcastle Agri Terminal is not into grain marketing and focuses only on facilitating supply chain operations. It is the country’s first major grain port development and is all set to change grain loading and rail discharge speeds, and set new safety standards, dust, fumigation, and noise management.
Cargill Australia’s grain originating business, AWB is a network of 40-grain marketers in 26 locations, spread across the Australian grain belt. Cargill Australia acquired the AWB trading and origination arm in 2011 and since then, the international and domestic trading business of AWB is handled by Cargill Australia which has a network of trading offices around the globe. This network of international trading offices provides Australian grain and oilseeds with access to world markets. The company is known to process about 680,000 tones of canola, cottonseed, sunflower seed, and soybeans annually, and produce protein meal for animal feed and vegetable oil for food like margarine, salad dressings, and frying.
Jumbuck Pastoral Company
One of Australia’s largest sheep and cattle producers with properties across the country, Jumbuck was established in 1888 by the MacLachlan family. They started their journey by growing wool at Paratoo Station, near Yunta, South Australia, and now the family proudly owns the whole business producing natural and sustainable livestock and wool for Australia and the world. Jumbuck offers a range of jobs for station workers and supporting staff to develop their careers within the pastoral industry. Known for the diverse properties and staff, Jumbuck Pastoral Company has establishments across South Australia, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Meat and Livestock Australia
This company delivers marketing, research, and development services to Australia’s cattle, sheep, and goat producers. From the combined investments to build demand and productivity, the Meat and Livestock Australia Limited creates opportunities for livestock supply chains, and provides services, tools, and information that helps in creating tangible benefits for livestock producers.
5 Recent Farming Trends in Australia
Growing crops in gutters, arranged in tower formations inside climate-controlled greenhouses is the new farming trend, called vertical farming. Combined with hydroponic technology, vertical farming has reached new heights in the town of Guyra in NSW.
Australia has one commercial seaweed farm near Nowra on the South Coast of NSW at this moment. But with new seaweed-based applications, Australia is ready to set its foot I the global market that will be worth $12 billion by 2024. Methane-busting additive for animal feed is one of the latest applications. Studies show that feeding cattle a small amount of Asparagopsis taxiformis reduces the methane production by cattle by more than 80%.
Drones and Data Tracking
Drones are among the widely-preferred technologies for farmers that help in tracking livestock during floods, monitoring remote water points, surveying farmland, and identifying soil problems, weeds and crop yields in just a few clicks. However, operating drones efficiently requires specialist training and knowledge of Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations. On the other hand, data tracking help farmers analyse data points to enhance yields as long as there has been farming. Farmers are able to fast-track productivity gains by implementing a few technologies that increase the quantity and quality of the data collected.
For decades, agri-food clusters have operated successfully in Europe, and are now being adopted by Australian farmers. This process, if backed by better logistics, can help in production, processing, storage, and R&D processes.
Alternative Proteins and Native Flora
Human health, environment, and animal welfare are the foundations for introducing alternative protein markets. It has been estimated by CSIRO that by 2030, the size of Australia’s domestic and export alternative proteins market will reach a combined value of $7.6 billion. Farmers will have more opportunities to supply high-protein crops like lupins, faba beans, lentils, chickpeas, and new protein sources including algae and insects. According to the Insect Protein Association of Australia, the country now has more than 50 insect farmers, most producing insect-based animal feed that can be consumed by pigs, poultry, and other household pets.
Other than alternative proteins, Australian commercial plants are also making their way into the local and sustainable food market. These native plants have been a crucial part of diets and medicines for thousands of years- Wattleseed and Kakadu plums are still big sellers whereas finger limes and lemon myrtle are now lucrative export crops. Reports have stated that Australian native millet can be used as gluten-free flour that is more nutritious and easier to grow and harvest, compared to wheat.
For deeper insights into the Australian agricultural business, get in touch with KG2 Australia, ‘your unrivalled agribusiness data partner’. With more than 30 years of experience, we take pride in having Australia’s largest independent farmer database.