Trade

$100m in Wagyu export sales drives AA Co to agribusiness award

Jon Condon, 09/11/2012

AA Co's Pat Dempsey accepts the Premier of Qld's Agribusiness export award last night A big surge in export activity, including opening up a basket of new global customers for Wagyu beef is part of the story behind the Australian Agricultural Company’s recognition last night in the Premier of Queensland’s 2012 export awards.

AA Co won the Agribusiness division award, recognising outstanding export achievement in the field of agricultural products, services and technology.

The beef sector has been strongly represented in the awards over the past three years, with Nolan Meats (2011) and JBS Swift (2010) earning both the agribusiness division and overall Queensland Exporter of the Year titles.  

AA Co managing director David Farley said the acknowledgement recognised his company’s achievements in growing its exports, both in volume and in new markets.

During 2011, AA Co achieved exports sales worth almost $100 million, a ten percent increase over the previous year, and a seven-fold rise since 2005. The overwhelming majority of that has come via the company’s Fullblood and crossbred Wagyu production streams.

AA Co currently has close to 30,000 Wagyu and Wagyu-infused cattle on feed, making it easily the world’s largest Wagyu beef producer.  Feeder cattle are sourced from a 60,000-strong Wagyu supply chain herd, based on the Barkly Tableland and southwest Queensland.

AA Co has close to 30,000 Wagyu on feedLast year’s expansion in sales has come via increases in both established key markets of Korea and US, as well as newer customer countries. Both Korea and the US are primarily fullset business, with the US topping-up on some loin meats.

Added to that has been strong growth in emerging international Wagyu markets.

Solid growth has occurred in both Hong Kong and China, especially high-end five star restaurants and hotels in Shanghai and Beijing; Indonesia, principally international hotels; and the Middle East, including a special program with Dubai’s Atlantis seven-star hotel and other centres like Doha; and hotels and quality restaurants in Russia.

Among the broader 25 markets serviced by AA Co’s grassfed, grainfed and Wagyu beef are Japan, UK, Mainland Europe, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Qatar.

AA Co’s general manager, meat, Pat Dempsey agreed that the company’s ‘significant’ growth in trade into the US last year went against the general trend caused by the toughness in the US economy.

“There’s a share of the market that continues to want to buy that top-end, premium beef product, and it has not been affected by the GFC,” Mr Dempsey said.

“Add to that, there has been steady single digit growth into South Korea last year, and it certainly has not gone backwards, as the broader beef trade has, during a time when the market has been struggling.”

AA Co currently supports three Wagyu export brand programs:

  • Master Kobe – Fullblood, marbling score 9+, fed 500 days
  • Takumi – Fullblood and purebred cattle fed 500 days, marbling scores below 9
  • Darling Downs Wagyu and Kobe Cuisine – Crossbred Wagyu of various marbling scores 5-9+.

David Farley said being the global leader in Wagyu beef production had been a key factor in AA Co's export success.

“Having the supply chain advantage of the Wagyu beef business, combined with our marketing and distribution initiatives contributed to the significant growth in export sales seen in 2011,” he said.

The company's vertically-integrated supply chain and strong financial base enabled the business to adapt quickly and allocate resources to produce cattle and beef to customers' specifications and meet the growing global demand for high quality beef, he said.

AA Co had implemented world-class technology and information transfer systems which enabled the business to track the performance of the Wagyu herd’s genetic pool. Click here to view Beef Central’s previous report on this program, "New technology drives move from mob-based to individual cattle performance."

“Understanding these traits means the business can optimise the herd and produce high quality cattle in order to meet demands of specific targeted export markets,” Mr Farley said.

  • AA Co was also recently awarded the 2012 Queensland Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s export award, in the Large Manufacturer Exports +$30m category, which runs in conjunction with the Qld Premier’s Export Awards.

AA Co also issued the following press release to announce its win yesterday:

Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) has won the prestigious Agribusiness Award at The Premier of Queensland's Export Awards, which were held last night at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Agribusiness Award recognises outstanding export achievement in the field of agricultural products, services or technology and the forestry, fisheries and fibres industries.

David Farley, CEO and Managing Director, said the Company was proud to receive the award, as recognition of significant achievements in growing its exports, both in volume and in new markets.

"During 2011, AACo achieved exports sales of almost $100 million, a ten per cent increase over the previous year, and a seven-fold increase from 2005, with substantial growth achieved in traditional markets of Korea and USA," he said.

"Being the global leader in Wagyu beef production has been a key factor in AACo's export success.

"Having the supply chain advantage of the Wagyu beef business combined with our marketing and distribution initiatives led to a significant growth in export sales in 2011."

AACo is a leading producer, marketer and exporter of Wagyu beef, sourcing cattle from a
60,000-strong Wagyu supply chain herd.

The company's vertically integrated supply chain and strong financial base enables the business to adapt quickly and allocate resources to produce cattle and beef to customers' specifications and meet the growing global demand for high quality beef.

AACo has implemented world-class leading technology systems which enable the business to track the performance of the Wagyu herd's genetic pool. Understanding these traits means the business can optimise the herd and produce high quality cattle in order to meet demands of specific targeted export markets.

The company's premium grassfed, grainfed and Wagyu beef is exported to 25 countries around the globe including: China, Japan, Korea, the United States, United Kingdom, Mainland Europe, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia and Qatar.

AACo was also recently awarded the 2012 Queensland Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Export Award in the Large Manufacturer Exports over $30M category, which runs in conjunction with the Premier's Export Awards.

 

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