130-year-old Brownes Dairy sold to Chinese firm.

One of Western Australia’s most recognised household dairy names — the 130-year-old Brownes Dairy — has been sold to a Chinese firm.

Brownes chief executive Tony Girgis announced today the private equity group Archer Capital had sold the company to Shanghai Ground Food Tech, who they described as “experienced dairy operators who understand the industry”.

“They have a track record of growing and strengthening similar businesses and have affirmed their commitment to doing likewise with Brownes,” a company statement said.

The statement said the sale would mean the firm would have greater capacity to exploit export opportunities.

It said there would be no job losses, and the management teams would remain the same.

Archer Capital acquired Brownes in 2011.

Mr Girgis said it was inevitable the dairy would be sold again, as the previous private equity owners were not long-term investors.

He said Shanghai Ground Food Tech had expanded quickly in recent years and was a significant supplier of liquid milk.

“They’ve got ambitions to grow into cheese — the next rapidly growing area in China at the moment — and if you follow the international news there’s been a number of international players clamouring to get into supplying cheese to China,” he said.

“They certainly have got some fire power and looking to grow and expand and expand us with it.”

‘Too soon to say’ if sale will generate more cash for farmers

Brownes has been heavily criticised in recent months after issuing new contracts which meant farmers could be fined for undersupplying milk.

One farmer dumped thousands of litres of milk last year after Brownes cancelled his contract.

But Ms Girgis defended the company’s actions.

“That was unbelievable circumstances that we had last year, and we had to take action,” he said.

“It wasn’t ideal but we had to do what we had to do.

Obviously with a change of ownership that brings up a different perspective to the business … it’s too soon to say whether there’s any impact on farm gate pricing.

“All I can say is that this provides surety for our suppliers going forward, that the business will be sustained for a long time and with the focus on growth it should provide them with opportunities to grow with us.”

Purchase welcomed by industry

WAFarmers dairy section president Michael Partridge said foreign investment was becoming an important part of the agriculture industry.

“Expansion of cheese manufacturing capabilities would be of significant benefit to the state’s dairy industry and provide greater certainty for producers,” he said.

“Particularly after what has been a difficult 18 months due to the lack of access into world markets and in balancing the state’s dairy supply.”

WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said Brownes had been in a bit of a “no-man’s land” for the last couple of years and hoped the sale — which is subject to approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board — would help change that.

“We’re producing more milk than we need just for the fresh milk market but not enough to really stimulate a new export industry,” she said.

“It’s good that we’ve got an international buyer that has the money to invest but also that has that ability to help us into new markets in Asia.

“If we can get this company working in a really good relationship with our local farmers I think this can be a win-win.”

Source: http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-14/brownes-dairy-sold-to-shanghai-ground-food-tech/9149776?pfmredir=sm

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Pat Hall says:

    We cannot keep on selling Australia… there has to be a limit ..and NOW

    Like

  2. our politicians must put Australia first..no more treasonous sales!

    Like

  3. Selling off our Country is a National disgrace.
    You are fast losing the faith of those who vote for you.

    Like

  4. margie smith says:

    your insane and un Australian selling our country and our childrens future to foreigners it will be too late when we become the foreigners in our own country shame on you all

    Like

  5. margie smith says:

    shame on you all stop selling our country

    Like

  6. pamela smith says:

    shame, shame, shame,

    Like

  7. Henry James says:

    When is the Government of Australia going to put a stop to the sale of this country to the Chinese or any other country with the money to buy Australia’s assets. Already the Chinese are controlling any criticism of their methods and underhand dealings and stopping the publication of any books which would bring this to the Australian Public’s attention. It would be traitorous for the Turnbull Government to allow this sale to proceed.

    Like

  8. Jaime Buchanan says:

    Stop foreign ownership NOW for my children’s and grandchildren’s sake.

    Like

  9. Lynne says:

    Well not buying Brownes ever again have supported then all my life

    Like

  10. Leanne says:

    Please stop foreign ownership on w
    Do not sell our historic land marks or farm .

    Like

  11. Bert McMahon says:

    Yet another disgraceful result of short sighted governments who know they’re unlikely to be in power for more than a term or two. As a result they look for short term, visible cash grabs to try look good.
    Can’t blame the Chinese, they’ve never hidden their agenda!
    Another Cubby Station type situation that dishonours and demeans generations of Australian family’s toil and hardship.
    Our politicians are a disgrace to allow these sales……

    Like

  12. Rhonda Rush says:

    Stop this sale from happening Scott Morrison.

    Like

  13. Rhonda Rush says:

    Stop this sale from happening Scott Morrison.

    Like

  14. Glen Richards says:

    Why are you not listening to the public voices Scott Morrison???
    This is NOT in the public interest!!
    Stop selling off our country, please.

    Like

  15. Del says:

    Stop all sell off’s to china, do you want to be under communist rule, we’re heading that way.

    Like

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