Twiggy to ‘Beef’ Up Cattle Empire

Twiggy to ‘Beef’ Up Cattle Empire

Andrew Forrest, Australia’s second-richest person, WA mining magnate, and eco-warrior has reached an agreement to buy New Norcia Farm as part of the growth of he and wife’s investment company ‘Tattarang’s’ fully integrated cattle and beef supply chain.

New Norcia Farm is located next to the historic township of New Norcia established by the Benedictine monks in 1847. It includes 3698 hectares of arable land. The property was developed for grazing and cropping.

The acquisition of the 8000-hectare property on the banks of the Moore River, about 132 kilometres north of Perth, adds to the 1.5 million hectares of prime WA grazing country farmed by beef producer Harvest Road, also part of Mr Forrest and his wife Nicola’s private investment company Tattarang.

According to ABC News, the acquisition is subject to approval by the Catholic Church (Vatican’s Holy See). It will be the first time the land, near the banks of the Moore River, has changed hands since 1847. New Norcia’s community of monks decided to sell the land to pay for their historical sexual abuse claims by Aboriginal people who attended the mission’s orphanages until the mid-1970s.

The sale price has not been disclosed, but the farmland is thought to be worth around $40 million.

In a report by Beef Central, Harvest Road CEO Paul Slaughter said that the acquisition of New Norcia Farm is the continuation of our significant investment into the future of Western Australia’s beef industry, and we believe it will play an important part in unlocking the transformational impact of the Koojan Downs Feeding Facility. According to benchmark Eastern Young Cattle Indicator, beef prices surged above 1okg for the first time this year following surging global demand for Australia’s high-quality grass-fed produce and an under-supply of livestock while the national herd is rebuilt after years of drought.

Harvest Road’s portfolio includes iconic Minderoo Station in the Pilbara, which was established by David Forrest in 1878 and bought back by his great-grandson Twiggy Forrest in 2009, the 225,000-hectare Brick House and 273,000-hectare Minilya Station – both in the state’s north-west – the state’s largest beef processing plant at Harvey, south of Perth, and the Harvey Beef brand.

The property has been marketed by BJW Agribusiness and Ray White Rural WA through an expressions-of-interest campaign. The Forrests’ Tattarang Group is the parent of Harvest Road, an agri-food business that includes the Leeuwin Coast aqua food brand. The group’s beef division includes a Beef brand and its facility at Harvey makes it WA’s s largest beef processor. Its operations will accommodate 20,000 cattle, with a view to supplying 70,000 grain-finished cattle each year to Harvest Road’s processing facility at Harvey.

Tattarang chief investment officer,  John Hartman, told Australian Financial Review in a report that  Harvest Road was committed to protecting and enhancing the iconic property’s status as some of the best farming land in Western Australia.

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