People on the Move: Homann to Elders, Coles gets new MD, Mort & Co appoints client manager

Beef Central, 05/03/2014


Beef Central publishes an occasional list of significant recent appointments, departures or achievements occurring across the red meat supply chain, both private sector and government. Details for submissions for future listings are provided at the bottom of this article…. 


Elders strikes back with Ruralco recruitments

Peter HomannCompetition for senior livestock staff between agency rivals Elders and Ruralco has continued with Elders this week confirming that four Ruralco livestock representatives have joined its ranks. Among them is prominent national livestock agency figure Peter Homann, who for the past eight years has served as Ruralco’s general manager of agency operations, and is a former general manager of Rodwells.

Mr Homann has taken on the role of Elders southern region livestock manager and joined the company last Friday.

At the same time three long-serving Shepparton-based Ruralco livestock representatives have also switched to Elders: Tony Pianto, Andrew Kyle and Trevor Down. Elders Southern Zone general manager Malcolm Hunt told Beef Central that the company was very pleased to have Mr Homann, Mr Pianto, Mr Kyle and Mr Down on board.

“It signifies Elders’ strength and that it is rebuilding,” Mr Hunt said. “It has been well documented in the press that we have become a pure play agricultural company, and then from a more specific point of view in our industry, we have returned to a very back to basics approach, based on fundamental service, advice and relationships.”

Mr Hunt himself is a former Elders senior manager who left to join Ruralco as the general manager of Rodwells in the mid-2000s but returned to a red shirt in 2012 to take up the position of Elders southern zone general manager. Asked for any updates on the appointment of a new Elders managing director, Mr Hunt said interviews were being conducted and an announcement was “imminent”.


Coles gets new MD in management shake-up

New Coles MD, John DurkanWesfarmers recently announced senior management changes within its Coles supermarket retail group, with John Durkan, the group’s former chief operating officer, appointed managing director.

He replaces Ian McLeod, who moves to a senior role within the wider Wesfarmers group. The changes will be effective from 1 July.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said Mr Durkan was a natural successor as Coles managing director, given his strong track record of business success and his key role in the first phase of the Coles business turnaround. Mr Goyder said Ian McLeod would continue to contribute to the future growth of Wesfarmers as group commercial director, building on his leadership during the successful first six years of the Coles turnaround.

“Ian’s success with the Coles division, which has more than doubled its pre-tax earnings and helped generate significant shareholder value for the Wesfarmers Group, highlights his credentials as a world class retailer and leader,” he said.


New private client manager for Mort

Mort & Co Lotfeeders has appointed Berry Reynolds to the role of private client manager, following the recent departure of Ben Maher who is now managing partner at the Rodgers Creek feedlot near Warwick.

Mr Reynolds has spent a lifetime in the cattle industry, currently operating his own Red Angus seedstock business near Toowoomba. In recent years he has also operated as executive officer for The Leucaena Network.

In his new role he will liaise on Mort & Co’s behalf with private clients, placing the business's custom-fed cattle at Grassdale and Pinegrove feedlots into various supply chains. He took up his post a month ago, and will operate from Mort & Co’s Toowoomba office.

Mort’s general manager, livestock, Scott McDouall will fill the role of national livestock operations manager for the next few months, until an appointment is made for that role.


Marketing role changes at Stanbroke Beef

Former Stanbroke Beef marketing manager Glen Thompson has left the company to pursue other interests.

Mr Thompson, a former marketing executive manager with Meat & Livestock Australia, joined Stanbroke to drive its branded beef programs in 2008. Since then the company’s signature Diamantina beef brands have expanded into new categories like Wagyu and Certified Organic, and have been positioned in 620 stores across nine countries in Asia, the Middle East and North America. The brand strategy focussed on direct-to-retail, building close relationships with a small number of customers which allowed Stanbroke to value-add its product by providing additional services and customer support.

"It's a strategy that has resonated with our customers," Mr Thompson said while collecting a NAB Agricultural Award for Excellence in Export on Stanbroke’s behalf several years ago. "They value the quality of the relationship as well as the product," he said.

Management responsibility for marketing at Stanbroke will now rest with sales manager, Alastair Ronald. The company plans to appoint a marketing coordinator.


NTCA new manager for Bohning Yards

The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association has appointed NT cattleman Noel Cuffe as the new manager of its Bohning Saleyards in Alice Springs. 

Mr Cuffe has diverse experience in the NT cattle industry, having previously worked as a ringer, a boreman and with the NTCA as a field officer overseeing indigenous programs and training.

Mr Cuffe told ABC Radio this week he is looking forward to the challenge of increasing the throughput of the operation.

“At the moment I don't think there are enough cattle going through the yards," he said. “We are in a bit of a trickly situation here, the border is not far away, there's another set of yards down there, but I think that if you just give people the quality of service they will come and use you." 


Indo trade minister sets sights on presidency

Indonesian trade minister Gita Wirjawan announced recently that he was resigning from the Indonesian Cabinet, saying he wanted to focus on his presidential bid ahead of the nation’s presidential election later this year.

Mr Wirjawan has been closely associated with much of the recent changes to the Indonesian import quota system for meat and live cattle, which has seen encouraging increases in trade out of Australia. As mentioned in Monday’s February export trade summary, beef exports to Indonesia last month topped 6000t, their highest monthly level in more than two years.

Mr Wirjawan has previous experience as a Wall Street merchant banker and speaks fluent English.


Beef connections on new Govt advisory body

Outgoing NTCA executive Luke Bowen is one of the stakeholders with strong meat and livestock sector connections appointed by agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce to the government’s new Agricultural Industry Advisory Council.

The formation of the AIAC is in line with the Coalition’s 2013 election commitments.

The council will assist the government in its endeavours to reduce red tape and to drive regulatory reform, Mr Joyce said. “Council members have expertise across a wide range of agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries and are well-placed to inform government about key issues impacting these sectors and provide advice on possible policies and regulatory reform,” he said.

The council will advise the minister on issues and challenges facing primary industry including returns to the farm gate, attracting investment in Australian agribusiness, ways to increase agriculture’s efficiency, export opportunities and infrastructure priorities for agriculture.

Another council member with strong livestock connections, especially in environmental and natural resource management is Lenore Johnstone, a grazier from Ilfracombe in Central western Queensland.


Gary Smith re-joins Texas A&M

Gary SmithLegendary US meat scientist Dr Gary Smith will re-join Texas A&M University’s Animal Science Department as a visiting professor from April.

Gary is well known and much respected within the red meat industry in Australia, having presented at numerous industry conferences over the years. His powerful presentations on the ground-breaking US meat quality audits provided a call to action for the Australian beef industry to pursue similar objectives. In his new role at Texas A&M, Dr Smith will assume responsibility for efforts to expand programs for students with an emphasis on meat science.

A number of Australia’s best and brightest animal science graduates have studied under Dr Smith at Texas A&M over the years. His incredible background, knowledge and experience will greatly benefit the animal science department, students, Texas A&M AgriLife (extension service) and Texas A&M University, a brief statement said.


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