Societa Cofica buys Deacon Seeds

Liz Wells, October 12, 2018

MELBOURNE-BASED grain exporter, Societa Cofica, has purchased long-established Queensland Darling Downs seed business, Deacon Seeds, at Dalby.

Mark Schmidt

The new owners plan to maintain the business’s strong reputation trading in the birdseed market, and expand into the domestic and export mungbean markets.

Deacon Seeds principals, Terry and Graham Deacon, decided it was time to sell, ending the family’s 57-year involvement with the business.

The brothers have been dealing with Societa Cofica for over 30 years and felt they were the right buyers to take over. They will stay on to assist during the transition period.

Australian Mungbean Association president, Mark Schmidt, has stepped in as general manager and is a shareholder and part-owner of the business.

“Moving forward the new company Australian Pulse Group will continue trading as Deacon Seeds Company due to the name recognition and the contribution that the family has made in the grain industry,” Mr Schmidt said.

“Deacon Seeds has built up a strong brand in the birdseed market trading millets domestically and worldwide along with trading in coarse grain and chickpeas.

“In the new company this will continue as well as an expansion into mungbeans for the domestic and international trade. Expansions will occur with the installation of specialised grading equipment to handle mungbeans and improve the quality of the birdseed lines already handled.”

Based in the millet producing heartland of the Darling Downs, Mr Schmidt said the company’s current focus was on selling millets into the domestic and export market, and supplying planting seed of millet varieties to ensure there was enough supply of birdseed for next year.

“Good demand exists for all birdseed types, especially Japanese and Shirohie for domestic and export markets,” he said.

With 30 years of processing and trading experience in mungbeans behind him, Mr Schmidt said he could see mungbeans playing an important part in the business moving forward.

“We are expecting to have a range of contracting options available and can supply planting seed. We see the perfect fit in maintaining our birdseed business as well as processing mungbeans,” he said.

“We are looking at upgrading the facilities. We will put in a gravity table and increase the storage, and trade millets in conjunction with mungbeans and chickpeas.

“Dalby is a central area for millets. There is a lot of millet grown on the Darling Downs. For mungbeans, most production is on the Darling Downs. Central Queensland has limited marketing options, so a lot of the product from there finds its way down to the Darling Downs.

“We are comfortable we are in the right area to successfully grow the business.”


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