May 17, 2018

Beef Australia is a wrap

Beef Australia is a wrap for another three years. The NAB Agribusiness team had an amazing week, catching up with customers and industry leaders, and learning a lot about where the industry’s heading.

There’s a lot of optimism around, despite the lack of rain in many areas – we’re seeing investment in infrastructure and genetics; strong property sales; increased use of Farm Management Deposits; and plenty of young people returning to, or entering the industry.

We did a straw poll, asking producers visiting our site about the most crucial area of investment or focus over the next five years. ‘Sustainability of land and water assets’ and ‘improved genetics’ were the two most common answers.

This is one of the reasons NAB has teamed up with AgForce, making an announcement at Beef Australia that we’re working together on ways to put a dollar value on natural capital. This will make it easier to demonstrate how primary producers are looking after the environment, while also allowing financial risk to be better priced.

A series of Insights Sessions at the NAB site provided an opportunity for customers and others to hear from our specialists on a range of topics including succession planning, ‘getting investment ready’ for businesses looking to grow, and the global outlook for beef.

According to Ben Matigian from NAB’s Financial & Equity Advisory, there are more investors looking for opportunities in agriculture than ever before, but producers need to make themselves ‘investment ready’.

“I encourage producers to have a really well thought out business plan and strategy for the next five years,” Ben said.

“There is often a difference between what producers perceive as ‘investment ready’ and what an investor is typically expecting to see in a potential partner.

“Investors are focusing on good businesses, with a high quality management team they can trust. They don’t just want an annual dividend cheque, they want someone they can grow with.”

Mark Scanlon from our succession planning partners Next Rural noted that while 20 per cent of farmers are over 65, as few as 10 per cent of businesses have formal transition or succession plans in place.

“There is opportunity for everyone to develop a fair and equitable plan for all family members on and off the farm,” Mark said.

“I recommend that clients prioritise addressing their transition plans to avoid uncertainty for the family or risk the future of the business.

“Three plans are recommended to formalise this process – a succession plan, a retirement plan and an estate plan or will.”

They were joined by Greg Noonan, who gave a wrap on the recent Federal Budget and a market update, and Ben Antonio from JB Were, providing valuable insights on putting wealth to work.

The beef industry has been a stand out success story for Australian agriculture over recent years, and we look forward to continuing to support our beef customers.