Acton cattle joins forces with major player

AS CATTLE prices continue to rise, two of the country's biggest producers are taking advantage of it.

In an agreement signed last week, Acton Land and Cattle Company and Australian Country Choice (ACC) have come together in what manager Tom Acton has described as an exciting joint venture.

The new operation will be known as Australian Cattle and Beef Holdings.

Tom said it was a step forward for them and would give them a certain outlook for their cattle market.

"They're a big player in the beef industry… they've got their own background in properties, breed their own cattle, have a feedlot and a processing plant," he said of ACC.

"They were just looking for a bit more supply of cattle."

ACC is one of the largest vertically integrated supply chain organisations in the world, and is one of the principal suppliers to Coles and other export markets.

As part of the deal they purchased one of the Actons' properties, Barkly Downs, which covers 2.3 million acres in north-west Queensland. They will also lease Millungera Station, Croydon Station, Rugby Run, Iffley and Moray Downs for an indefinite period.

Combined, these properties make up more than one and a half million acres.

Paradise Lagoons and Mountain View, two properties based near Rockhampton, have been left out of the deal, and Tom said they wanted to keep those as family-owned properties.

He said the deal was six months in the making.

"There's been a fair few of these ventures in the last 12 months," he said.

"The cattle industry has probably got as good an outlook as it's ever had.

"The global demand for beef and a shortage of supply has driven the price to where it is."

In Queensland the ACC says it owns the top five privately owned companies, and in Australia they own the top eight meat processors, the top eight meat value-adders, the top 10 beef lot feeders, top 10 cattle herd holders and top 20 private land holders.

Ben Dwyer from ACC will be the chief operating officer for the new operation, but Tom will continue to oversee all the properties as he does now.

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