Forrest’s ‘Green’ Concerns Complicate JBS Takeover of Tasmanian Salmon

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Dr Forrest said the 138-page takeover document never mentioned the environment or livestock once.

“I would have thought these were the top priorities for any organization… which provides food to all Australians,” he said.

The billionaire also wants to see salmon farming operations in Macquarie’s port in Tasmania – where Tassals, Huon and Petuna operate offshore salmon facilities – move to deeper waters.

The port has an average depth of 15 meters and suffered more than one million salmon deaths over a six-month period in 2017-18, mainly due to an outbreak of orthomyxovirus pilchard.

Huon had raised concerns with other producers before the deaths about the practice at the time of mixing old and young fish, which could increase the risk of the disease spreading.

Dr. Forrest also wants no fish to get into salmon-fed fishmeal.

Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said the potential sale to JBS was a concern for the state and its marine environment.

“JBS internationally is a terrible citizen of the world, with a terrible environmental record. They are responsible for the massive deforestation in the Amazon and convicted of poisoning rivers across the United States, ”she said.

JBS Australia Managing Director Brent Eastwood has championed the company’s environmental record with its goal of having zero net greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain from 2040.

“We will provide further details, as appropriate, regarding our commitment to best practice standards in animal welfare and environmental sustainability for all Huon shareholders to be considered when program documents are released in due course. wanted, “he said.

Huon Managing Director and CEO Peter Bender said he agreed that business operations should not compromise the environment, but his company is already committed to the highest standards. strict animal husbandry and sustainable farming practices, including “no pain, no fear” principles.

“Huon doesn’t think there is a breeding goal higher than RSPCA certification, and we ask Mr. Forrest to describe which program he thinks is better than RSPCA certification,” he said. .

“If Mr. Forrest had bothered to check with me, he would know that our stocking density of up to 1% fish for 99% water is the best in the world in the global livestock industry. some salmon.

Redemption vote not before October

Dr Forrest has given no indication whether he will launch a takeover bid or seek to increase his stake in Huon before the vote on the JBS offer.

Houn’s founders and principal shareholders, Peter and Frances Bender, support the sale of the company to JBS.

The Benders sold a 40 percent stake in Huon earlier this week to JBS, which is offering a 38 percent premium on the salmon farmer’s stock price at Friday’s close of $ 3.85.

Global demand for Atlantic salmon is growing.Credit:Ben rushton

A successful recovery would mark JBS’s first foray into aquaculture.

Huon shareholders are not expected to vote on the acquisition until mid-October.

Peter Bender said in a statement last week that the sale would have a great result for shareholders and staff.

Dr Forrest said he would now wait for Huon and JBS’s reaction as the vote draws near to see how the situation unfolds.

Tattarang’s growing aquaculture portfolio

Over the past five years, Tattarang has increased its interests in aquaculture and has a seafood branch at Harvest Road Group called Leeuwin Coast.

Tattarang has oyster farming interests in the towns of Albany in Western Australia, in the far south of the state, and Carnarvon in Gascoyne.

The company also proposed to the WA government to develop a land-based yellowfin tuna aquaculture zone, but the latter decided to open the proposal to a wider call for expressions of interest. Huon also has a Kingfish project in WA.

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Dr Forrest has said he is keen to see Harvest Road become a major independent Australian producer in a country where the biggest player is foreign company JBS.

He said he was interested in sustainable aquaculture as an alternative to industrial wild capture practices, attracting him to Huon, who was going in the right direction.

“I think a much more sustainable and humane way to put fish on the plate is to fish in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way,” said Dr Forrest.

“It got us to Huon, not because of what it is, but because of what it might be.”

Huon shares were down 1.54% as of 2:30 p.m. AEST while Tassal was up nearly 2%.

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