Elders’ North Australian Cattle Company has been recognised with an award for excellence in this year's Northern Territory export awards, presented last Thursday night in Darwin.
The cattle exporting company won the agribusiness category, which recognises outstanding export achievement in the field of agricultural products, services or technology, including processed foods and beverages, and the forestry, fisheries and fibres industries.
The award follows a year in which NACC, like all other Australian livestock exporters, has made significant investments in infrastructure and staff training upgrades through to point of slaughter in foreign markets to satisfy the Australian Government’s new Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).
NACC was in the process of loading cattle for Indonesia when the Federal Government imposed a sudden suspension on the livestock export trade in early June last year. With its importing partners, the company acted quickly to satisfy the auditing requirements of ESCAS and was the first exporter to return cattle to Indonesia in early August, 2011, after the temporary suspension was lifted.
Tony Dage, general manager of Elders International Trading, which oversees NACC’s operations, said the team, lead by Ashley James, genuinely deserved recognition.
"It has been a challenging year for the NACC team and the Indonesian trade,” Mr Dage said.
“A year we confronted head-on to protect and improve our business model and ensure our customers continued to have the highest quality and most consistent supply of Northern Australian cattle.
"NACC in conjunction with our Indonesian customers and partners moved quickly to implement the new ESCAS framework and we have emerged a stronger business because of it.
"NACC was and remains at the forefront of change.”
Mr Dage said the NACC business was large and sophisticated and required a special blend of commercial, logistical, technical, operational and political skills.
The Elders International business was a genuine global trading platform, with 230 employees across the globe, revenues approaching $500m and diverse markets involved with the dairy and beef breeder and feeder cattle markets, as well as the trading of wool and other agricultural products and services"
While there is common consensus that Australia’s cattle trade to Indonesia is likely to remain very quiet for the rest of this year, as import permits for the year are already all but filled, Mr Dage said there are reasons to believe trade could improve in 2013.
“The Indonesian market is ‘demand rationing’ to ensure they manage the current levels of cattle supply in-country,” Mr Dage said.
“As we approach year-end and current Indonesian inventory continues to draw down, we are confident the Indonesian regulators will release stronger permit numbers.”
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