TerraProtein Equity Partners ‘meat’ and greet at Beef Australia exposition

TerraProtein Equity Partners attended Australia's national beef exposition, Beef Australia, one of the world's great beef cattle events held once every three years in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.

Australia’s national industry exposition, Beef Australia, celebrates of all facets of the beef industry and facilitates new trade and export opportunities by exposing the local supply chain to international industry leaders. TerraProtein Equity Partners (TerraProtein) Non-Executive Director Tom Ward and Partner Hamish Webb headed to Rockhampton – Australia’s ‘beef capital’ – to absorb the latest trends and developments on show.

A week-long exposition, Beef Australia includes a smorgasbord of events, trade exhibitions, and educational seminars which cover many timely and topical issues facing the industry, locally and globally. This year’s exposition saw a particular emphasis on disruptive innovation and technology – an area of interest to TerraProtein.

Mr Webb, TerraProtein’s Australia-based Partner, noted several key takeaways from the 2018 exposition.

“Compared to previous years, the 2018 event has had a major focus on technology. There were companies on show that didn’t exist in 2015, many of them showcasing new technology and services,” he said.

“It looks like the industry is embracing all sorts of agri technology, including data collection, IoT (the Internet of Things), farm management software, genomics and un-manned equipment such as drones.” This can present opportunities for producers to become more efficient, Mr Webb said.

Another key theme of the 2018 exposition was the issue of investment and how the Australian beef industry is poised to attract outside capital to assist with growth and market access.

A panel session was hosted by local accounting firm James Becker & Co where TerraProtein’s Mr Webb, among other industry professionals, offered perspectives on succession planning, ‘corporatising’ the family farm, and ways producers can set themselves up to attract outside investment for expansion.

Mr Webb gave examples of where TerraProtein had been able to align private and/or institutional investors with various agricultural businesses seeking growth capital, in order to foster long-term partnerships that enabled expansion opportunities.

“Until recently, succession planning often meant one of two things: either someone takes on a large amount of debt or the family undergoes a full sale process,” he said.

“Now, the agricultural industry is witnessing more and more examples of joint ventures, share farming arrangements, sale and lease-back structures, and other corporate transactions which provide greater flexibility to keep all family members involved with their enterprise and able to grow the business further.”

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