People on the Move: Appointments, retirements, achievements

Jon Condon, 28/10/2021

Beef Central publishes an occasional summary of appointments, departures and achievements occurring across the red meat and livestock supply chain. Send details for entries to

  • Organics pioneer Alister Ferguson parts company with Arcadian
  • New skill-sets appearing on ALFA council
  • End of the road nears for Angus Australia chief executive
  • New livestock role at AA Co
  • Scott McDouall moves on from Mort & Co
  • Allflex, Coopers expand feedlot team
  • Supply chain award to Woolworths project manager

Organics pioneer Alister Ferguson parts company with Arcadian

Organic meat industry pioneer Alister Ferguson has sold his share in Queensland-based supply chain Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co, and left the business.

Mr Ferguson was Arcadian’s chief executive officer since the business was created in 2013.

Alister Ferguson

Arcadian was formed as a result of the merger of Mr Ferguson’s own business, The Organic Meat Co, which he launched back in 2005 while working for Sanger, and David Beak’s Cleavers Organic business.

Under his stewardship, Arcadian enjoyed extraordinary growth and established itself as an industry leader in domestic and export markets. Processing 800 to 1000 Organic cattle weekly – principally through Australian Country Choice in Brisbane – Arcadian can lay claim to being the world’s largest organic meat supply chain. It enjoys sales in twelve countries from the US to Singapore and was stocked in more than 1000 Australian supermarkets.

While Arcadians lamb business declined during the drought, numbers are again growing and trade is being re-established.

Mr Ferguson’s share in the business has been sold to Arcadian’s other shareholders, Cleavers and Hewitt Cattle Australia. Hewitt took a stake in the business back in 2017, as the business expanded its certified organic beef and lamb production footprint.

Mr Ferguson plans to focus on his Toowoomba pub, micro-brewery, restaurant and butchery business.

The existing management of Arcadian remains in place, and the business continues to focus on implementing its growth plans, the company said. Arcadian would not offer details on any plans to appoint a new chief executive.

New skill-sets appearing on ALFA council

Reflecting the broadening range of skill-sets emerging within the beef industry, Stockyard’s People, Safety and Culture Manager, Lauren McNally was elected to the Australian Lot Feeders Association Council last week.

Lauren McNally

Elected for her specialist expertise around people, culture and workplace safety, Ms McNally is set to help bring positive change to how the lotfeeding industry recruits, retains and protects its people.

She will focus on developing and supporting the feedlot industry in creating change for regional communities that will help showcase career pathways within the sector. She will seek to adjust the lens of how positions within the feedlot industry are viewed and delving into community-building strategies to improve the overall attractiveness of regional employment.

“ALFA has made significant inroads in improving our industry’s practices over its 50-year history, most recently supporting the Red Meat Industry in its sustainability journey,” Ms McNally said.

“While the industry has strong foundational practices across environment and animal welfare that we should be proud of, there is room to grow on existing work across employee retention, growth and community building. As an industry, we need to engage with our current social climate in regional communities to ensure we can capitalise and be part of opportunities in every aspect of regional and remote living, that are often the backbone of our productivity.”

Ms McNally continues an unbroken sequence of ALFA council representation for Stockyard, tracing back 50 years since the peak council’s inception through Steve Martin, Jim Cudmore and Robin Hart.

Lauren has spent her career in lotfeeding, starting with the Australian Agricultural Co after completing her degree in Applied Science (Animal Science). Since then, she has worked across human resources, safety, compliance, and strategic cultural engagement. She joined Stockyard in July.

Ms McNally joins three other new ALFA councillors elected last week including David Bailey from Australian Country Choice, Lucy Morris from Lake Preston Feedlot and Andrew Talbot from Elders.

End of the road nears for Angus Australia chief executive

Angus Australia’s chief executive officer Peter Parnell will retire in February next year, having served in the role for the past twelve and a half years.

Peter Parnell

Dr Parnell has presided over a period of dramatic growth for the Angus breed in Australia, driven in part by relentless breed improvement delivered through objective measurement and performance recording through Breedplan.

Dr Parnell took over from Grahame Truscott as Angus Australia CEO in 2009, having worked for NSW DPI for the previous seven years as a genetics research manager. Prior to that, he spent a lengthy term as Angus Australia’s breed development manager.

A recruitment process for a new CEO is currently underway, being managed by Rimfire Resources.

Dr Parnell will feature in a Weekly Grill podcast with host Kerry Lonergan next week.

New livestock role at AA Co

Experienced feedlot livestock manager Stephen Moy has joined the Australian Agricultural Co, as head of intensive operations.

Stephen Moy

Working under the direction of the chief operating officer, this key role is responsible for driving the performance of AA Co’s  assets across the central & southern Queensland region including Aronui and Goonoo Feedlots and their surrounding Farms.

The role also includes the management of the company’s growing and backgrounding operations including the breeding and genetics programs. The operations are key to the production of premium beef products in service of the AA Co branded beef strategy.

Mr Moy joined Elders Killara in a livestock procurement role in 2020, having worked previously for NH Foods as group livestock manager. At NH Foods, his role covered both slaughter cattle for the company’s plants at Oakey and Wingham, together with feeder and backgrounder requirements for the Whyalla feedlot near Texas.

Scott McDouall moves on from Mort & Co

Well known grainfed industry stakeholder Scott McDouall has finished up with Queensland grainfed beef supply chain, Mort & Co, in order to launch his own business coaching consultancy.

Mr McDouall had been with Mort & Co for the last eight years, spending the majority of that time as general general manager for meat & livestock, ultimately responsible for livestock procurement, sales, meat processing, international sales, marketing and branding. His most recent title was general manager of strategy & growth.

Scott McDouall

Over that period Mort experienced rapid growth, with the company’s primary Grassdale yard near Dalby expanding to become the largest commercial feedlot in Australia.

In the past 12 months in his most recent role, Mr McDouall has also aided the development of sales & marketing planning for Mort & Co’s growing fertiliser & stockfeeds businesses, as well as leading the transition of the takeover of the Guyra Mill & its integration into the broader business.

Mr McDouall has also been a key driver in the development & execution of the company’s ambitious strategic growth plans which have underpinned the company’s success over the last four years. The implementation of the Rockefeller Habits at Mort & Co, which Mr McDouall facilitated, has been a backbone of the company’s success, with recorded revenue growth of 168pc & EBITDA growth of 228pc. Today the award winning business is the largest privately owned lotfeeder in Australia, as well as having key businesses and investments in dryland and irrigated farming, processing, international meat sales, organic fertiliser, stockfeeds and transport.

Asked about future plans, Mr McDouall said he remained deeply passionate about Australian agriculture, export and the livestock industry.

As such, he will be helping a variety of ambitious business owners in this sector as a coach and facilitator under his new consultancy business, Yarrella.

“My core purpose is to create clear strategic, sales and marketing plans, and drive accountability to achieve sustainable growth, boost enjoyment and increase profitability,” he said.

Mr McDouall said he was grateful for the time he had had at Mort & Co and for the opportunity originally entrusted to me by Charlie Mort to be a key driver in developing the business.

“I’ve enjoyed working across a broad cross section of the business & the challenges that this has provided. I’m incredibly proud of everything the business has achieved in the last 7.5 years during my tenure, and have had the pleasure of working with some of the best in the business.”

Allflex, Coopers expand feedlot team

Animal health and animal identification service providers Allflex and Coopers have appointed Casey Gilbert to their new combined sales team. Mr Gilbert will be the new key account manager for feedlots in the southern region of Australia.

Casey Gilbert

He has vast knowledge of the industry, having come to the Allflex/Coopers  alliance from a livestock consultancy and advisory role. He holds a Bachelor of Animal Science from Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, having grown up on his family farm, running sheep and cattle.

“Casey has a true passion for the Australian cattle and sheep industry, and the feedlot sector, and is looking forward to meeting yard managers across his region to discuss how Allflex and Coopers products and solutions can improve the health and performance of feedlot cattle,” the company said.

He will be based out of Darlington Point, south of Griffith in NSW.

Supply chain award to Woolworths project manager

Woolworths supply chain senior project manager Roberto Olivares received an important national award from regulator, GS1 Australia, marking World Standards Day last week.

Woolworths’ Roberto Olivares scanning 2D codes on meat products at the checkout

This year’s theme is ‘Shared Vision for a Better World’, highlighting the need for standards to ensure food producers achieve their global Sustainable Development Goals. GS1 standards enable supply chain visibility, which in turn, allows greater sustainability.

Mr Olivares was instrumental in implementing GS1 Databar and DataMatrix systems across 1400 Woolworths and Countdown stores across Australia,  representing 2500 lines from more than 4000 suppliers.

“Roberto and the Woolworths project team undertook trailblazing work to introduce 2D barcodes for retail point-of-sale,” GS1 Australia retail director Andrew Steele said.

2DBarcodes are the content-rich, on-pack symbols that enable multiple data elements to be embedded and made available to consumers when scanned at point-of-sale. The barcodes give the ability to automatically stop the sale of expired or recalled products at the checkout and allow better management of rotation of goods through stores and significantly reduce food waste.

“At Woolworths we plan to build on the potential of these barcodes to offer customers valuable information on provenance, quality and sustainability,” Mr Olivares said. “As we work towards a better tomorrow with our suppliers, 2DBarcodes can help us communicate a product’s verified sustainability credentials to customers,” he said.

The GS1 Australia Standards in Action award recognises an individual who actively promotes the development and use of the standards within their organisation and industry, is an agent of change, influencing the adoption of GS1 standards; displays outstanding supply chain innovation, vision and leadership; Leads and supports the global community in the adoption of GS1 standards; and openly shares learnings and challenges with others in their GS1 standards implementation journey.

Future industry leader embraces innovation to drive market growth

Hailing from a family owned and operated stud cattle enterprise near Denman in the Upper Hunter Valley, Rhys Webber has big plans to make his mark in the global beef industry.

Rhys attended primary school in Scone before heading off to boarding school in Sydney at The Kings School and then the University of Sydney where he achieved First Class Honours while studying a Bachelor of Food and Agribusiness.

The 2021 intake of Kilcoy Global Foods Future Leaders Graduate Program

Today Rhys is based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast where he is a member of Kilcoy Global Foods Australia’s Future Leaders Graduate Program.

KGF’s Future Leaders two-year program is designed around four rotations in which graduates experience different aspects of the KGF operation at the company’s head office on the Sunshine Coast as well as its plant in Kilcoy.

Applications are now open for the 2022 graduate program – see details below.

“I come from a farming family and I’ve always been interested in the meat industry,” Rhys said.

In his third year of University he did an internship at Harris Farm Markets, an independent high-end grocer chain in NSW and Queensland.

“I really enjoyed that experience as I was able to see how the retail end of the industry works, which has proven to be very helpful in my current role,” he said. “The KGF Future Leaders program has been fantastic. I have been working in sales as part of our Food Solutions team, this is where we value-add our products and it is earmarked as a real growth area of the business.

“I’ve learnt so much by literally being thrown into the deep end, I’m much more resilient and I am learning to trust my instincts and think on my feet. I’ve also worked closely with a range of customers in both export and domestic markets, including KGF’s largest revenue-generating boxed beef and value-added accounts, where there’s been a lot to learn about their requirements and expectations.

More recently he has been involved in new product development, working on new burger pattie lines.

“Some are now sold in retail stores so it’s been really interesting to be a part of the process while also learning new aspects like labelling and regulatory requirements,” Rhys said. “While the general consumer is increasingly more conscious of intrinsic values such as sustainability, provenance, and animal welfare, they are often unaware of how to identify quality in produce when deciding on what to purchase.

“I wanted to be a part of a primary processing company to help change and drive these narratives and I’ve already had the opportunity to launch a number of products including two lines of burgers which are now sold through retailers domestically.

President of Kilcoy Global Foods’ Australian Division Jiah Falcke said the business was looking for young professionals with a passion for innovation and the knowledge to contribute to creating food systems which are more competitive, prosperous and sustainable.

“We teach our graduates how we do things so that in the future they’ll be food industry leaders burning the KGF branding iron of excellence and innovation, and guiding Australia’s food processing industry.

“The key to the program is the strong focus on innovation and creating future leaders who are prepared to think outside the box and we are already seeing that from this year’s graduates,” Mr Falcke said.


Applications are open for the 2022 Kilcoy Global Foods Future Leaders Graduate Program. To learn more or apply, click here.







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  1. Dennis Scanlon, 29/10/2021

    Well done, Stephen – congratulations on your appointment to AACo in what will be a very exciting and wide ranging Role.
    We share similar Resume’s through different eras: – my Meat and Livestock Industry ‘Adventure’ began at Oakey Abattoir in 1960 under the Fred Keong banner, took me into AACo in 1991 as Group Livestock Manager, to develop a strong and lasting forward Contracting association for AACo Goonoo and Windy Feedlots with the NH Group, who made Oakey one of their most successful operations – along with Wingham.
    I’m sure you will enjoy the ‘journey.’

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