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Lack of competition worries Aussie poultry farmers

Baiada Poultry wants to buy Bartter Enterprises, which owns Steggles - making Baiada the largest poultry producer in Australia. Not everybody is pleased.

The Contract Poultry Committee is concerned the takeover of one of Australia's largest poultry producers will mean significant changes to the Hunter's chicken growers' contracts.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking comment as part of its investigation in to the acquisition.
 
Committee chairman Gary Ekert says if the acquisition goes ahead, it will greatly reduce competition.
"It basically gives us one less processor to deal with, cuts down the opportunity for growers to grow for different processors," he said.
 
"Our main concerns as growers would be that we maintain similar conditions to what we have now.
"The majority of growers in this area would have invested huge amounts of money on the current terms and conditions that we have. If that is to change down the track, it would severely affect growers."
 
Baiada Poultry Pty Limited is a privately owned Australian company which provides poultry products throughout Australia.
 
Business includes broiler & breeder farms, hatcheries, processing plants, feedmilling and protein recovery. Products sold are live poultry including breeding stock, poultry feed, fertile eggs, day old chickens, primary processed chicken (raw) and further processed chicken products and pet food.
 
Baiada’s HQ is in Pendle Hill, 30km west of Sydney. Other major operating centres are located in Brisbane, South Australia, Tamworth in northern New South Wales as well as throughout Victoria. The company employs app. 2,200 people.
 
Bartter-Steggles is the second largest producer and marketer of chicken and turkey products in Australia. It processes more than 2.4 million chickens per week using its six processing facilities, one specialist tray packing facility, one further processing plant, four feedmills; and six hatching facilities.
 
It has 4500 employees across Australia and generates revenues in excess of $870 million.

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