Sunday, January 14, 2007

Happy New Year

Hello all that read our blog. As can be seen below, it has been disgustingly dearth of content of late. There are plenty of excuses but none really suffice so I won't attempt to deceive you with them. We have however been very busy. December saw our first field trip to Russia. After researching and promoting the ILRIC turnkey product for the past 3 years, it was pleasant to finally get our hands dirty in the land of one of our target countries. The trip was a big success and we will be back in Russia again regularly this year. All of this is probably meaningless as most of our ILRIC research has been confidential. Sadly most of it continues to be so. There are some details I can share however, and will do so now.

ILRIC is a major national research facility set up in Armidale NSW. It was one of 15 such facilities but was the only one whose mandate was that of Agriculture. This mandate was relatively tight in terms of scope. The projects were approved when the facility was established and have all now been successfully implemented or cancelled. There was however, a small discretionary budget for the organisation to use to try and make itself sustainable post 30 June 2006 when the facility funds were closed. It was obvious to the CEO of ILRIC that the existing set of projects were never going to fund ILRIC post 2006 and hence he began a number of feasibility studies into ideas that his core partners had developed but not commercialised. One idea that he really liked was the idea of establishing infrastructure and genetics (specifically cattle) into developing countries. Many organisations including the WTO were already funding and running projects of this nature, but very few were from Australian consortiums. He believed that Australia has many unique advantages that sets itself up for this type of project.

mbh was procured to conduct the first market study into this concept. This was completed in 2004 and resulted in the ranking of 220 countries in terms of their priority and potential for importing cattle for the purpose of seedstock. From this priority list, ILRIC has made several successful visits resulting in leads and commissioned work that has established the company post 30 June last year. The biggest opportunities currently reside in Russia and a number of projects are awaiting approval. Once approved, ILRIC and mbh will partner with many other Australian organisations to deliver a total end to end market system for the production of beef.

It has already been a fascinating ride to date and I hope to regale you with stories from afar over the coming months.

I hope you have all had a wonderful New Year and wish you the best of luck in your respective businesses in 2007.

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