Barenbrug gathers strength with Queensland businesses


The acquisition of three Queensland-based businesses by Barenbrug will complement the company’s pasture and fodder crops for northern producers, as well as its tropical grass seed breeding program.


Barenbrug has strengthened its position as one of Australia’s largest seed companies after acquiring three key Queensland-based seed businesses.


The company has procured the assets of Australian Premium Seeds, Blue Ribbon Seeds and Premium Seed Coaters, with the businesses expected to be fully transitioned into the Barenbrug business later this month.


According to Barenbrug Managing Director Wayne Crofts, the move will bolster an already extensive range of products and services offered by the company.


“Each of the businesses acquired complements our existing portfolio of products,” Wayne said.


“In particular, we think the acquisitions will strengthen the northern and export aspects of the company.


“It will not only provide our customers with a broader range of products, but it will also give existing customers of these businesses access to a wider range of products.”


A member of the Barenbrug Group, Barenbrug produces a broad range of temperate and tropical pasture varieties, fodder crops, forage cereals, field crops and turf and amenity grasses.


The company maintains a strong focus on industry research and development, as well as partnering with leading organisations both locally and internationally for collaborative plant breeding and research.


Australian Premium Seeds specialises in the supply of tropical and temperate pasture and legume species, amenity and reclamation species and forage.


The Brisbane-based company was established by Owen Dunn in 1996, before Owen’s son, Michael, stepped into the role of General Manager after Owen passed away.


The company established Premium Seed Coaters Pty Ltd in 2005, to meet the increased demand for coated seed.


Both businesses will now be incorporated under Barenbrug.


Michael said the family was pleased the businesses would continue under the umbrella of the Barenbrug Group, another family business with a proven track record over 115 years and a similar approach in the marketplace.


“It is very reassuring to know that our efforts over many years will continue with another strong family business with similar values,’’ Michael said.


Michael will be assisting Barenbrug through the transition period and other key staff from Australian Premium Seeds will also be joining the Barenbrug team.


“We’re looking forward to building on the customer relationships Australian Premium Seeds has established, as well as working with its suppliers and growers,’’ Wayne said.


“The Australian Premium Seeds portfolio of products will integrate with Barenbrug’ northern portfolio and we also look forward to continuing the operations of Premium Seed Coaters.”


He said they would also continue to operate the Australian Premium Seeds seed cleaning facility at Walkamin.


“That’s something new for us, but it will strengthen the relationship with their growers and our growers up there, as we are looking to work a lot closer with growers in the Atherton Tablelands.’’


While Australian Premium Seeds focused on servicing the domestic market, in 2000 the company formed a partnership with Blue Ribbon Seeds, an international supplier of premium quality pasture and forage planting seed.


Blue Ribbon Seeds is part of the Blue Ribbon Group, a family-owned business founded in 2000 by Stephen Donnelly and based in Richlands, Queensland.


Though the business has been acquired by Barenbrug, Wayne said it would continue to operate under the Blue Ribbon Seeds brand.


“Blue Ribbon Seeds fits very nicely within our export portfolio,” Wayne said.


“Stephen has an enormous passion for tropical and the export business, and he will now be focusing his efforts on the pulse side of the business.’’


Stephen said, similarly, he was very happy the business would remain within the hands of another family business and he was keen for its international customers to continue their relationship with Barenbrug.


Existing staff members will continue to service international customers, while Stephen will also assist Barenbrug for 12-24 months to ensure a smooth transition.


With Blue Ribbon Seeds having an extensive tropical and subtropical grass seed breeding and development program, Wayne said the acquisition would enhance Heritage Seed’s own revised tropical breeding program.


He said through the new program, they would continue with the research and development of some of Blue Ribbon Seeds’ tropical lines.


“Their research activity and product development very much fits with our own focus on research for northern Australia,” Wayne said.


Media information: Wayne Crofts, Barenbrug, on (03) 9701 4000.