Home' Grower : March 2013 Contents The South Australian Grower -- March 2013
Syngenta finds seed partner
SYNGENTA has appointed
Fairbanks Seeds as the exclusive
distributor of its leafy and brassica
vegetable genetics portfolio.
Syngenta Australasia's head of
vegetables Andrew Simeonidis said
the move would offer the
company's genetics to more
growers and regions.
"We're very excited about the
partnership and the mutual value
that each business can contribute
to one another and the vegetable
growers of Australia," he said.
Mr Simeonidis said Fairbanks'
knowledge and experience made it
an ideal partner.
"Fairbanks has a very strong
sales force with excellent
agronomic knowledge and field
presence," he said.
"Fairbanks has a focus on quality
and service that will enable them
to continue to develop growers'
access to Syngenta genetics,
maintain technical support, and
demonstrate to growers the
benefits of new varieties."
Fairbanks Seeds general manager
Anthony Ladds said the company
was thrilled to be able to offer the
Syngenta leafy and brassica
"Syngenta are global leaders in
vegetable varietal development,
and with an annual investment of
around US$1 billion into R&D their
continuing development of
germplasm technologies is
impressive," he said.
Fairbanks Seeds is one of
Australia's largest and most
experienced vegetable seed
companies with offices in Victoria,
Queensland and South Australia,
and agents Australia-wide.
"With Fairbanks supporting its
varieties in field, Syngenta will be
continuing to build on its strong
research and development focus in
the leafy and brassica portfolio in
Australia with an emphasis on
building integrated seeds, crop
protection and adjacent technology
solutions," Mr Ladds said.
Details: Fairbanks 03 8401 3346
By STEPHANIE GROPLER
growers are expecting a
profitable season this
year, after Spain's recent drought
put a squeeze on global supplies.
Australian Olive Association
chief executive officer Lisa
Rowntree said the supply-
demand equation at the moment
was keeping the industry
"The supply of extra virgin
olive oil worldwide will be down
and the demand is growing, so
we will see people who produce
extra virgin olive oil paid the
better price," Ms Rowntree said.
"The industry is poised to have
a very good year and it couldn't
have come at a better time."
Spain is the world's largest
olive oil producer but this year's
har vest is estimated to be about
40 per cent less than last year's
This shapes up well for
Australia where many growers
running small enterprises are
being pushed out of the industry,
unable to cope with constant
Ms Rowntree said the
Australian standard for olive oils,
which was finalised in 2011, had
begun to take effect, with Coles
and Woolworths adopting it.
"They still haven't enforced the
standard on their imported
products which I think is a little
bit strange as it says to consumers
'well you can have our product
and it is covered under Australian
standards but we just won't make
the importers comply'," she said.
She said the industry was
bound to experience some sort of
loss each each year.
"Everyone is looking at having
a pretty good crop -- there is
never going to be a year free of
weather issues," she said.
"We just deal with and get on
Agromillora Australia nursery
manager Damian Crowe said the
worldwide shortage of olives was
sure to restore confidence to
"There are other countries like
California and Chile who can
make up a little bit of the
shortage but I guess the benefit
we have is that we have the
opposite season to Spain," Mr
"This means that when their oil
is getting a little bit old, we have
fresh oil coming in."
He said that after many years in
the industry he was beginning to
see a lot of investment into the
sector, especially in the past 12
"At this stage, we are probably
looking at around 80,000 trees
short of filling orders so that's
probably about 20pc short," Mr
"So basically if other people
come in and want trees we pretty
well have to order a year in
The nursery promotes high-
intensity groves which are
beginning to be planted across
Australia, particularly in Western
Oil shortage lifts
Spain output down 40pc
Australian growers capitalise
Too late for small growers
are finding it very
hard to compete
Olive trees are in high demand -- some clients have to order a year in
Jobs safe as Costa finalises
Adelaide Mushroom deal
FRESH produce grower and
marketer the Costa Group has
completed its purchase of Adelaide
Mushrooms from the Schirripa
family, taking control of the
operations on March 4.
Adelaide Mushrooms employs
almost 200 staff at its state-of-the-
art Monarto mushroom cultivation
facility -- the second largest of its
type in Australia. It owns the
Mushroom Centre at the Adelaide
Produce Markets and farms at
Spreyton and the Huon Valley in
A Costa Group spokesman
indicated that the new owners
were initially planning to maintain
the status quo at Adelaide
Mushrooms' SA premises, which
means no change for local
employees at this time.
Plans to expand the Monarto
facility are also being considered.
The Costa Group operates a
mushroom farm in all states except
SA, and the spokesman said
Adelaide Mushrooms' operations
would help the group supply fresh,
local mushrooms to consumers in
SA and Tasmania.
Adelaide Mushrooms was also
sought after for its high-quality
Former Adelaide Mushrooms
chairman Doug Schirripa will stay
on at the company in a consultant
The value of the sale has not
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