AUSTRALIAN Grain & Forage (AGF) Seeds has expanded with the acquisition of Smyth Seeds at Benalla in Victoria.
The purchase marks the first time AGF Seeds has grown beyond its home base of Smeaton, near Ballarat.
AGF Seeds will maintain its main processing, packing, warehouse and administration facility at Smeaton, while the former Smyth Seeds premises in Benalla will remain open as a warehouse, blending, packing and distribution point.
AGF Seeds director David Toose said Smyth Seeds was a great fit and brought together two fully Australian family-owned businesses with decades of experience.
Mr Toose said Smyth Seeds had been a respected major player in the Australian seed industry for nearly 70 years.
“When Smyth Seeds announced their business was for sale, AGF was immediately interested, as the Smyth brand was well known for the quality of their products and their knowledge.”
He said Smyth Seeds would be a good fit as the companies have an ethical and operational fit, as AGT Seeds looked to expand its marketing opportunities.
“Smyth Seeds has been a good contributor to the seed industry for nearly 70 years and we look forward to continuing that tradition.”
AGF Seeds has been operating for three generations as a seed producer, processor and, more recently, a seed marketer.
“We have capacity to do more production (and) expand the product range, and this acquisition will help us to distribute product into north-east Victoria.
“It will improve access to products for existing AGF Seeds clients while continuing to serve Smyth Seeds clients. “We already have sales people in the area and this will give them a base and inventory.”
Mr Toose said the purchase was an exciting time for the company and the Australian seed industry.
“This is our first foray away from our home base with another facility in a different location,” he said.
“The market is becoming dominated by international companies so we’re excited by this new chapter in our history.”
AGF Seeds managing director Andrew McNaughton said the expansion would be good for customers of both companies, and improve timelines in getting orders to customers.
Smyth Seeds founder Mick Smyth was a founding member of the Seed Industry Association of Australia, now the Australian Seed Federation (ASF), and the now-defunct Seed Merchants Association of Victoria.
His son, Smyth Seeds director Mike Smyth, continued the business with his other brother John Smyth, who retired about six years ago as a life member of ASF.
Mike Smyth said he was pleased that the company was going to a like-minded family business.
“We’re particularly pleased with the people we’ve sold it to,” he said.
“We’ve known David for decades and we see AGF as a company of similar background.”
Mr Smyth said Smyth Seeds had enjoyed a long history as independent traders of quality pasture seed.
“It’s 70 years this year that our father started in the seed industry,” he said.
“John and I have been involved in the seed industry all our working lives.”
Smyth Seed’s last day is October 29, and John and Mike Smyth will continue to run a cattle farm in the Benalla region.
The company has been a long-standing member of the Grassland Society of Southern Australia and sponsor of the Benalla A&P Show.
Both AGF Seeds and Smyth Seeds are accredited members of the Australian Seed Federation, and AGF Seeds is carrying on a long history of seed production in Smeaton and the surrounding area.
Source: AGF Seeds