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Aqafood calls on oyster farmers to unite

AUSTRALIA - Two Pacific oyster farmers have called for an end to in-fighting and cost-cutting in the industry.

The pair are encouraging growers to get behind Aqafood subsidiary Aqa Oysters, the company with plans to control 60% of Australia’s Pacific oyster output within 12 months.

Aqa Oysters has been on a multimillion-dollar spending spree, buying 10 quality oyster farms this year – eight in South Australia and two in Tasmania – with expectations of adding another 10 farms to its portfolio. ASX-listed Futuris took a 50% stake of subsidiary Aqa Oysters for an undisclosed sum in June.

"There’s still some apprehension in town because Aqafood is new, but I’m more than confident the directors will win the respect of the community," said Geoff Turner, whose oyster business became part of Aqa Oysters last month.

"At the moment the industry is very fragmented with individual farms marketing themselves and undercutting others. It has reached the stage of dog-eat-dog with people working harder and harder every year and making less and less."

Source: FoodWeekOnline