Advising on strategic and day-to-day matters for local and international players in Australia's agribusiness industry.

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Australia’s agribusiness sector comprises approximately 120,000 commercial farms and employs close to 385,000 people. The opportunities for local and international investors are plentiful, with around 60 percent of commodities produced in these farms exported yearly. Sectors with the highest proportion of exports include wool, cotton, beef, dairy products, wine grapes, sugar and wheat.

A key consideration for players in this sector is how to ensure profitable growth, either through international joint ventures, capital injections for strategic development, or identifying new export markets.

We are well placed to advise on the local or international sale or acquisition of farming businesses, where family-based succession is not an available option.

With expertise advising on both strategic and day-to-day matters for livestock and fresh produce companies, we can advise both local and international players to ensure their participation in this industry is appropriately rewarding. 

Our team has recently been Recommended by Doyle's Guide to the Legal Profession in Leading Agribusiness Law Firms - Queensland, 2017

Areas of Expertise

  • Preparing and advising on key contracts that are critical to operations, such as supply agreements
  • Preparing and advising on agreements with key business partners, including (for example) joint venture agreements and strategic alliance agreements
  • Structuring, both generally and specifi cally in the context of acquisitions
  • Tax issues
  • Intellectual property and ICT 
  • Investment opportunities and finance, including international investment and FIRB approval
  • Impacts of the Australian Government’s climate change initiatives
  • Reporting and regulatory obligations
  • Employment and workplace health and safety matters
  • Litigation and dispute resolution 
  • Insurance and workers compensation
  • Competition and trade practices
  • Environment 
  • Sale and purchase of livestock, permits and machinery associated with the change of ownership of pastoral land
  • Water rights
  • Advising fruit and vegetable wholesaler Simon George & Sons on the acquisition of NSW business George’s Providores for $8.5 million, including an option to buy additional land for $16.5 million. 
  • Acting for One Harvest Group in the purchase of three mango farms that had been owned by Timbercorp before its collapse. As part of this transaction, we advised on issues related to superannuation, intellectual property rights and managed investment schemes.
  • Advising Proserpine Cooperative Sugar Milling Association Limited (PCSMA), Australia’s fifth largest sugar mill, on corporate structuring and its sale process, and then subsequently advising the administrators of PCSMA to complete the $120 million sale of its milling assets to Sucrogen of Singapore. The advice we provided to PCSMA ranged from obtaining government and regulatory approvals through to advising on complex structuring, property and employment issues. We also represented PCSMA throughout the takeover process and advised the directors in respect of a number of rival bids.
  • Advising Dale & Meyers on the acquisition of a hardwood milling business (and logging entitlements) from the State of Queensland.
  • Advising Carter & Spencer on the acquisition of Early Bird Citrus, including the primary production business assets, employees, water rights and rights under leasing and licensing arrangements.
  • Advising Harvest Company on various plant breeders’ rights issues in the wake of the Timbercorp collapse. 
  • Advising Driscoll Pastoral Group, as owners of a number of pastoral properties (eg Truganini, West of Rockhampton), on the sale of a number of their properties to other large, rural aggregation owners.
  • Advising a private client on a number of pastoral acquisitions, including advising on the due diligence investigations and the transfer of ownership of livestock on the land. 
  • Providing proactive and preventative workplace health and safety advice to large and small producers and manufacturers so as to improve their compliance with the regulatory regime applicable to them and to improve the safety and well-being of workers, contractors and others.
  • Advising Nippon Ham in civil proceedings following the death of approximately 1800 head of cattle they were having fed at the Oakey feedlot, and in relation to an animal cruelty prosecution by the RSPCA relevant to its feedlot in Toowoomba.
  • Acting for the Pearce Family of Telpara Hills in a dispute relating to commercial cattle breeding
    and sale, including cattle sold at Beef 2009 (Rockhampton). 
  • Advising Carter & Spencer, the largest fruit and vegetable wholesaler in Queensland, on workers’ compensation claims, including personal injury matters, such as claims arising from industrial
    machinery accidents, injuries occasioned by repetitive handling and suspected fraud. 
  • Advising Brisbane Markets on trade practices compliance issues in relation to the Federal
    Government’s implementation of the Horticulture Code of Conduct in 2007. 
  • Advising a privately owned agricultural manager on its appointment as manager for a sovereign fund to manage agricultural assets acquired by the sovereign fund for development and export purposes.
  • Advising significant agricultural land owners on the subdivision of water rights in Queensland under the Water Act, including advice on the transfer of water rights for both vendors and purchasers and on the negotiation of supply contracts with relevant authorities.