HERITAGE Seeds has strengthened its position as one of the largest seed companies in Australia after acquiring three key Queensland-based seed businesses.
The company has procured the assets of Australian Premium Seeds, Blue Ribbon Seeds and Premium Seed Coaters, with the businesses expected to be fully transitioned into the Heritage Seeds business later this month.
Heritage Seeds managing director Wayne Crofts said each of the businesses acquired complements the company’s existing portfolio of products.
Heritage Seeds is a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Royal Barenbrug Group, and produces a broad range of temperate and tropical pasture varieties, fodder crops, forage cereals, field crops and turf and amenity grasses. The company maintains a strong focus on industry research and development, as well as partnering with leading organisations both locally and internationally for collaborative plant breeding and research.
Australian Premium Seeds specialises in the supply of tropical and temperate pasture and legume species, amenity and reclamation species and forage. The Brisbane-based company was established by Owen Dunn in 1996, before Owen’s son, Michael, stepped into the role of general manager after Owen passed away. The company established Premium Seed Coaters Pty Ltd in 2005, to meet the increased demand for coated seed. Both businesses will now be incorporated under Heritage Seeds.
Michael Dunn said the family was pleased the businesses would continue under the umbrella of the Barenbrug Group, another family business with a proven track record over 115 years and a similar approach in the marketplace. He will be assisting Heritage Seeds through the transition period and other key staff from Australian Premium Seeds will also be joining the Heritage Seeds team.
“The Australian Premium Seeds portfolio of products will integrate with Heritage Seeds’ northern portfolio and we also look forward to continuing the operations of Premium Seed Coaters,” Mr Crofts said.
He said they would also continue to operate the Australian Premium Seeds seed cleaning facility at Walkamin.
While Australian Premium Seeds focused on servicing the domestic market, in 2000 the company formed a partnership with Blue Ribbon Seeds, an international supplier of premium quality pasture and forage planting seed. Blue Ribbon Seeds is part of the Blue Ribbon Group, a family-owned business founded in 2000 by Stephen Donnelly and based in Richlands, Queensland. Though the business has been acquired by Heritage Seeds, Mr Crofts said it would continue to operate under the Blue Ribbon Seeds brand.
“Blue Ribbon Seeds fits very nicely within our export portfolio,” Mr Crofts said.
“Stephen has an enormous passion for tropical and the export business, and he will now be focusing his efforts on the pulse side of the business.’’
Existing Blue Ribbon Seeds staff members will continue to service international customers, while Stephen Donnelly will also assist Heritage Seeds for 12-24 months to ensure a smooth transition.
With Blue Ribbon Seeds having an extensive tropical and subtropical grass seed breeding and development program, Mr Crofts said the acquisition would enhance Heritage Seed’s own revised tropical breeding program. He said through the new program, they would continue with the research and development of some of Blue Ribbon Seeds’ tropical lines.
“Their research activity and product development very much fits with our own focus on research for northern Australia,” Wayne said.