Agronico, Tasmania’s largest seed potato producer, has entered into an agreement for Simplot to buy its business and property assets, subject to regulatory approvals including clearance from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).
Established by agronomist Julian Shaw in 1985, the family-owned enterprise, headquartered in Leith with factory and coldstore operations in Spreyton, is among the largest seed potato producers in Australia. It is one of the country’s few large-scale suppliers of both proprietary and non-proprietary varieties of minitubers and is the only company using hydroponics for improved yield. It produces nearly a quarter of a million minitubers and 8,000 tons of seed potatoes annually.
“Julian built this business with a passion for Tasmanian agriculture and a focus on research and development over 35 years, and we are confident that Simplot will continue his commitment and legacy,” said owner Judith Shaw.
She added: “I’d like to acknowledge the contribution of our employees whose skills and commitment have been instrumental in our business success over the years. Simplot’s values align closely with ours and it is especially pleasing for Agronico to be joining an organization that is clearly invested in the long-term viability of Tasmania’s potato industry.”
Headquartered in the United States, the Simplot’s businesses range from farming and ranching to cattle production to food processing, phosphate mining and fertilizer manufacturing. In addition to frozen french fries and other value-added potato products, its portfolio in Australia includes the Birds Eye frozen vegetable and I&J fish and seafood brands. The company employs over 13,000 people around the world.