National Australia Bank has created a specialist banking unit dedicated to the future growth of Australia’s $100 billion post-farm gate food, fibre and beverage industries.
In a first for the sector, NAB’s bankers will operate on a partnership model, in the same way as a law firm, to establish long term customer relationships and build teams of expertise in each industry sector.
“The food and beverage industries are the untold success stories of Australia’s manufacturing sector,’ says Food Fibre and Beverage Division Head Khan Horne.
“Over the past 10 years the food industry has grown more quickly than the manufacturing sector as a whole and maintained steady growth in exports,” he says.
“We believe with strong global economic growth and greater consumer demand for meat, dairy products, high value grain products and wine, the food sector is poised to accelerate growth.”
NAB’s Agribusiness Survey for the June Quarter highlights that agribusinesses are upbeat about the outlook as the post farm gate food, fibre and beverage sector shakes off the effects of the drought.
“After lagging behind the rest of the economy, confidence in the sector is growing and intention to invest in capital items is running at a two year high for the sector, with investment intentions above those of the wider non-farm economy,” Horne says.
“The sector has been remarkably resilient against a strong Australian dollar with $24 billion of output being exported.
Khan Horne has recently conducted a three day conference in Sydney with his team of thirty specialist bankers and NAB economists to review business conditions within the sector.
“Beyond the headline numbers we see coming out of the Agribusiness Survey and from ABARE and other forecasters, we can see specific business opportunities that existing firms and new entrants are moving to take advantage off over the next 12 months,” he says.
According to Horne, the food fibre and beverage sector requires a specialist banking approach, with price and supply risk management arising as major issues.
“Businesses in this sector are looking for specialist advice and products to manage commodity supply, price, currency and interest rate risk,” he says.
“We’ve assembled a team of specialist bankers to deliver a full set of financial services to processors, manufacturers, wholesalers, exporters and service providers in the sector.”
For further information: Kerrina Lawrence National Australia Bank Limited
0417 034 738