Major Eastern states supplement manufacturer Champion Liquid Feeds has bought the Rumitek liquid stockfeed supplement manufacturing plant located near the Isis Sugar Mill on Queensland’s southern coast, not far from Bundaberg.
The acquisition, from the JH Williams Group, secures a southern Queensland manufacturing hub for CLF, following the gradual transition out of production of CLF’s Molafos products from the former Ridley-owned facility at Wacol, on Brisbane’s western outskirts, which is now closed.
Ridley in 2010 sold its 50pc share in CLF to Gardner Smith, putting in motion a series of changes leading to today’s announcement over the Rumitek liquids plant purchase. Global molasses and commodities trader Westway retains the remaining 50pc share in CLF.
The location of the new mill provides an ideal geographic spread for CLF’s liquid supplement business, complementing the existing manufacturing sites at Braybrook, near Melbourne, and Marion, near Mackay in north Queensland.
In combination, the three sites can service a large footprint of eastern Australia’s extensive and intensive livestock industries.
CLF general manager Peter Robson said the company explored a number of relocation options leading up to the closure of Wacol, including the establishment of a greenfields site, but the opportunity to purchase a going concern in an ideal location next to an assured molasses supply was a strong attraction.
Previous owner, the JH Williams Group – a diversified stockfeeds supplier operating out of Murwillumbah in northern NSW – built the Rumitek plant a decade ago. CLF will take up a long-term lease and molasses supply agreement with the Isis Sugar Mill.
The most significant development for CLF’s product range from the agreement is that it will provide an opportunity to manufacture suspension-based supplements in southern Queensland for the first time. The former Wacol facility was not capable of suspensions manufacture, meaning suspension supplements were not a segment that CLF previously had a presence in in southern Queensland.
CLF plans to supply intensive and extensive livestock customers in southern Queensland and northern NSW from the new Isis facility, working in conjunction with the North Queensland and Melbourne plants in the production and supply of pasture supplements, feedlot concentrates and suspensions, as well as straight molasses.
The company plans to undertake a significant upgrade at the Isis factory over the next three months, building capacity, efficiency and the range of supplements capable of being produced. This will include the manufacture of suspension supplements and the existing product lines of Molafos pasture supplements and feedlot and dairy concentrates.
Suspensions typically contain higher levels of insoluble lime and are typically used in feedlots and large dairy applications. Many are custom-made to nutritionist requirements, but CLF will also manufacture an off-the-shelf product called Molafos Feedlot 5pc Suspension.
The new Isis facility will also allow the local production of:
- Molafos Grower and Molafos Backgrounder – two suspension-based products supplying true protein and grain in a liquid suspension, used for production feeding. Those products have previously been manufactured and distributed from CLF’s other mills in Mackay and Victoria
- Rumitek’s intake-limiting ‘sweet and sour’ type supplement products, called Rumifeed. The production of the Rumifeed range will also expand to the company’s other mills. CLF is still to assess the future commercial use of the Rumitek ‘umbrella’ brand name, but the Rumitek products like Rumifeed and Vitamol will continue to appear in the market.
At completion of the refurbishment at Isis, each of CLF’s mills up and down Australia’s east coast will have the capability to make exactly the same products, responding to changes in regional demand and molasses supply as they occur.
“If one of the mills is down for any reason, or under demand pressure, the others will have the capacity to guarantee supply across Australia’s eastern states,” Mr Robson said.