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Wellard, EFIC and Rabobank develop dairy cattle export opportunities to Sri Lanka

October 10, 2011

Wellard Rural Exports has finalised a finance facility that will allow the export of 2000 quality Australian dairy cattle to Sri Lanka, the first stage in a Sri Lankan government-backed dairy development program.

The finance supporting the US$12.95 million dairy infrastructure project to the National Livestock Development Board of Sri Lanka has been provided by Rabobank with support from the Export Finance Insurance Corporation (EFIC).

The signing of the finance agreement is the culmination of several years of feasibility studies and negotiations to underpin the supply contract.

Wellard Rural Exports Managing Director Steve Meerwald said Sri Lanka had a strong and growing demand for high quality fresh milk to replace the country’s current reliance on imported milk powder.

 “Sri Lanka and its people have all of the attributes to be able to develop and maintain a professional, highly productive dairy industry,” Mr Meerwald said.

“Fertile soils, reliable rainfall and willing workers, combined with the National Livestock Development Board’s strategic vision, will ensure that this project is only the first stage in Sri Lanka’s efforts to become more self sufficient in fresh milk and milk products.

“We cannot thank our colleagues at EFIC and Rabobank enough for their perseverance with this pioneering project. Without their financial support we could not have progressed this contract, and the opportunities it provides to Australian dairy farmers and dairy manufacturers, to completion.”

The project will be delivered in 2 stages.  Stage 1 comprises 500 breeding heifers, infrastructure and equipment. Stage 2 requires 1500 cattle, infrastructure and equipment. The cattle and infrastructure will be sent to the National Livestock Development Board’s Bopaththalawa farm. Wellard will provide management and training to the local work force during and after both stages.

“This exciting new project will commence as soon as documentation is finalised to ensure that the facilities and equipment are in place for the first shipment of 500 head in early 2012,” Mr Meerwald said.


For further information please contact:

Cameron Morse

Phone: + 61 8 9386 1233

Mobile: +61 433 886 871

Website: www.wellard.com.au


Background – Wellard Rural and Trading

Wellard is a world leader in the production and distribution of livestock and grain.

Its two largest subsidiaries are Wellard Rural Exports, Australia’s largest livestock exporter and ship owner, and Wellard Agri, a large mixed farming land owner and operator specialising in the production of grains, legumes and livestock.

Wellard Rural Exports has supplied quality dairy and beef cattle and sheep and goats to the world for more than 30 years, and its investment in the live export industry is without peer.  Based in Fremantle, Western Australia, the company’s operations cover every aspect of the export chain, including feed milling, livestock aggregation, road transport, feedlot facilities throughout Australia and modern shipping.

The company’s flagship carrier, the MV Ocean Drover (formerly the MV Becrux), is a purpose-built livestock carrier capable of carrying 75,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle to major markets around the globe.  She was commissioned in 2002.

The MV Ocean Shearer (formerly the MV Stella Deneb) can carry 125,000 sheep or 25,000 cattle, or a combination of both.

Two new, technologically advanced, purpose-built vessels, the MV Ocean Swagman and the MV Ocean Outback, were launched in 2010. They offer unparalleled levels of safety for the livestock, crew and vessel, and can transport 7000 cattle, 25,000 sheep, or a combination of both.

Wellard Agri owns and operates eight farms covering 33,000 hectares across three agri-hubs. The two northern hubs are located at Dongara and Watheroo in Western Australia’s central midlands and one is located at Kojonup in the Great Southern region of WA.

The Dongara hub is home to The Grange, a 14,500 hectare property which is considered one of Western Australia’s blue chip farming properties.

The remaining landholding totals more than 18,000 hectares, of which 14,000 hectares is cropped to a variety of grains and legumes. The other 4000ha is devoted to sheep production, including the famous Hyfield Poll Merino stud at Kojonup. In addition, Wellard leases an additional 14,500ha for livestock and grain production.

Wellard Agri also has operations in the farm machinery sector, through management of the CLAAS Harvest Centres at Katanning and Esperance for the Landpower range of farm machinery.

Visit www.wellard.com.au