TWIGGY Forrest’s Harvest Road beef supply chain in Western Australia has strengthened its senior management ranks, with key appoints in cattle operations and beef marketing and sales.
The appointments come as the company, part of Mr Forrest’s Tatterang Group (formerly Minderoo Group), targets a new phase of growth across domestic and international markets for its sustainable premium Australian beef.
Taking a position as Harvest Road’s chief operating officer for pastoral, backgrounding and feeding facility is well-known senior Queensland beef industry operations manager, Ben Dwyer.
Also joining the company as chief commercial officer, encompassing beef sales and marketing, is former Coca Cola and Suntory executive, Mark Wiedermann.
Both have been appointed to Harvest Road Group’s expanded leadership team as the diversified agri-food company capitalises on increased global demand for high-quality and sustainable foods, including rising world demand for protein.
Mr Dwyer joins Harvest Road from integrated Queensland red meat supply chain Australian Country Choice, where he served as chief executive officer and chief operating officer of Australian Cattle & Beef Holdings, a cattle-producing joint-venture company with ACC, running some 80,000 cattle.
Mr Dwyer has extensive beef industry and pastoral experience, spending several years working for the Green family running Balmoral Stations in WA’s East Kimberley and Pilbara regions, where he developed an in-depth understanding of the state’s cattle and beef supply chain potential.
Mr Wiedermann has been appointed to the newly-created position as chief commercial officer encompassing the group’s growing sales and marketing operations generated out of the Harvey Beef export processing plant.
He has 20 years of leadership experience in the beverage industry, including a decade with Coca-Cola Amatil and The Coca-Cola Company in sales, marketing and strategy within the beverage giant’s domestic and global businesses. He also has eight years’ executive experience with Suntory Group in marketing, commercial and innovation roles across Australia and New Zealand.
Tattarang chief executive Andrew Hagger and chief investment officer John Hartman welcomed the appointments, saying continued investment in industry leaders, innovative technology and agricultural practices across Harvest Road’s operations had created world-class integrated supply chain capabilities and a growing export network across more than 40 overseas markets.
“We welcome both Mark and Ben to our Harvest Road and Tattarang families. Together they bring decades of experience drawn from Australia’s agricultural, pastoral and consumer goods industries and they share our vision to continue to further entrench Harvest Road at the heart of Australia’s growing international food reputation,” Mr Hagger said.
Harvest Road’s expanded leadership team would help accelerate the group’s growth as a market-leader and sustainable producer which “champions Australian fine foods to the world and create points of difference through innovation, sustainability and a relentless focus on animal welfare,” Mr Hartman said in a statement.
Mr Dwyer said he was delighted to be back in WA working for Harvest Road across the company’s pastoral, backgrounding and feeding operations and looked forward to getting across the state to meet the Harvest Road team and the state’s wider beef industry.
“With a strong focus on animal welfare and sustainability, Harvest Road’s values align closely to mine, and will be a core focus for me in my role,” he said.
Mark Wiedermann said Harvest Road Group had an exciting opportunity to continue to grow its international market share and deepen and broaden WA’s reputation as a world leader in sustainable and ethical food production.
Diversified Harvest Road
Harvest Road is already one of Australia’s largest and most diverse agri-food businesses. The Group’s beef division – which includes the Harvey Beef brand – is the state’s largest beef processor and owns a state-of-the-art processing facility in Harvey.
The company has developed a domestic beef brand called Ernest Green & Sons, producing a range of premium cuts and value-added items.
Harvest Road is also developing a large-scale 7000ha backgrounding and intensive feeding facility near Koojan, in the state’s mid-west wheatbelt. Announced in 2018, the first phase will accommodate 20,000 cattle, with a view to supplying 70,000 ‘grain-finished’ cattle each year to Harvest Road’s processing facility at Harvey. The facility is not a conventional feedlot, but instead uses grain-based ration self-feeders located in larger grassed paddocks.
Harvest Road principal Twiggy Forrest has adopted a strong stance on animal welfare within the Harvest Road/Harvey beef operations, recently attracting wide attention after placing full-page advertisements in the national press criticising the animal welfare standards practised in Australian meat processing.
He has overseen the implementation of a range of measures called ‘No pain, No fear’ at the company’s Harvey Beef processing plant, designed to “eliminate pre-slaughter stress in cattle over the last 50 metres of their lives.” Click here to view earlier story.
Harvest Road operates five large grazing properties in WA’s Kimberley and Pilbara regions, totalling 1.3 million hectares.
In September 2020, Harvest Road announced a joint research initiative with Meat & Livestock Australia and WA’s Department of Primary Industries to map carbon emissions across its entire supply chain to identify opportunities for reducing emissions, with the vision of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030.
In August last year, Harvest Road launched its new aquaculture brand – Leeuwin Coast – that includes rock oysters, Akoya and mussels produced across sites on Western Australia’s coastline. Planning is currently underway to construct a new aquaculture base in Albany which would become one of the largest such facilities in the country.