December 30, 2008


Australia's poultry sector raises concerns on acquisition plan


Australia's poultry industry is worried about the consequences that may follow should Baiada Poultry succeed in its acquisition of Bartter Enterprises.


The takeover of one of Australia's largest producers, Bartter Enterprise, would make Baiada the largest poultry producer in the country, and would bring significant changes to contracts of chicken growers, according to the Contract Poultry Committee.


Committee chairman Gary Ekert said competition will be sharply reduced if the acquisition goes ahead.


"It basically gives us one less processor to deal with, cuts down the opportunity for growers to grow for different processors," Ekert said, adding that the growers' main concerns are whether they could retain similar conditions to what they have now.


A change would severely affect growers, as they had invested huge amounts of money on current terms and conditions, said Ekert.


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking comment as part of its investigation of the acquisition.


Baiada Poultry Pty Limited is a privately owned Australian company which provides poultry products throughout Australia. Baiada's business includes broiler & breeder farms, hatcheries, processing plants, feed milling and protein recovery.


Bartter-Steggles is the second largest producer and marketer of chicken and turkey products in Australia. It processes more than 2.4 million chickens per week using its six processing facilities, one specialist tray packing facility, one further processing plant, four feed mills; and six hatching facilities.

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