NZ invests in genetics
DALVEEN’S Palgrove stud is continuing to grow its business in partnership with a New Zealand Government owned company. Principals of the beef cattle powerhouse David and Prue Bondfield have turned to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, an NZ Governmentowned investment vehicle.
The financial terms of the partnership are unknown, though Mr Bondfield said nothing would change in the day-to-day operations of the Granite Belt business.
The pair – who run about 2500 registered females breeding charolais and ultrablack seedstock – took out the Weekly Times Coles Farmers of the Year in 2016 for their innovation in the industry.
“This partnership with NZSF gives the Palgrove business the capacity to grow its cattle numbers to meet increasing demand from our clients,” Mr Bondfield said.
“It also enables us to accelerate genetic development, particularly within our ultrablack program,” Mr Bondfield said.
“NZSF has the appropriate level of understanding of agricultural investing; a commitment to long term investment horizons and a high standard of governance, responsible investing and operating sustainably.”
NZSF has an asset value of more than NZ$35 billion, and has significant investments in New Zealand agriculture and global forestry.
NZSF portfolio manager Neil Woods said the organisation had been looking at the Australian beef industry as a diversification strategy.
“NZSF has gained a good understanding of the characteristics of agriculture as an investment through our direct investment in global Forestry assets together with significant agricultural interests in New Zealand over the last seven years,” Mr Woods said.
“We concluded very quickly that people, and more particularly their management expertise, was key to any successful investment in this asset class.”
Mr Woods said they were drawn to Palgrove because the Bondfields were viewed as leaders in the beef seedstock industry and had a significant history of development and growth.
The partnership expands upon the Bondfields’ existing international business.
Established more than 40 years ago by Mr Bondfield’s father, Peter Bondfield, Palgrove was a pioneer of importing the charolais breed into Australia.
The couple has expanded the business and has been a driving force in developing the ultrablack breed. The two were the first to export a live ultrablack bull to Thailand last year, and have also sold semen to Canadian and British clients.
With decades of industry experience, Mr Bondfield said innovation was critical to sustaining a thriving business. “We’ve built our numbers from a small base with a strong focus on customers. We look forward to strengthening those relationships with both new and existing clients,” he said.
In its 2017 spring bull sale last month, Palgrove had a total clearance of the 157 bulls offered. The 100 charolais bulls averaged $13,056, while the 57 ultrablacks averaged $10,351, the highest averages in a sale for both breeds.
TOP PERFORMERS: Palgrove charolais stud owners David and Prue Bondfield have entered a lucrative partnership with a New Zealand Government company.