Two leading private aquaculture companies have joined forces to form one of Australia’s largest shellfish producers.
The move builds on existing Port Lincoln JV, and creates robust alliance to provide superior quality, year-round, diverse produce.
Yumbah Aquaculture has entered into binding contracts to acquire family-run oyster farming business Cameron of Tasmania, as two leading shellfish aquaculture companies join forces to become one of Australia’s largest shellfish producers.
The companies share a unique story of adversity and resilience, shaped by common family-owned roots and values, and say the new partnership is a triumph for the future growth and sustainability of Australian aquaculture.
Yumbah chief executive, David Wood, says bringing Cameron of Tasmania into the Yumbah portfolio is a natural progression for the two companies who have a pioneering joint venture oyster spat hatchery at Port Lincoln on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
“Acquiring a like-minded, established and scalable business like Cameron’s, with whom we already have a strong working relationship, further represents Yumbah’s ambition to be Australia’s leading shellfish aquaculture company,” said Mr Wood.
Earlier this year, Yumbah signed up Victorian mussel grower, Bay Sea Farms.
“With these two acquisitions paired, we’re positioned for future growth, and we see a very positive future for Australian shellfish farming.”
Cameron of Tasmania operates on the State’s east coast and since it began in 1971 has weathered more difficulties than most. Just in the last decade, the business has rebounded from the destructive 2013 Dunalley bushfires and, three years later, Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) which decimated $1.5 million of Cameron’s baby oysters in just one day.
POMS led Cameron and Yumbah to embark on their joint venture, the Yumbah Hatchery in Port Lincoln, designed to meet the consequent critical demand of the South Australian oyster spat market. Since then, the two companies honed their methods and developed a reliable supply of oyster spat that sparked the revival of the South Australian oyster industry.
Cameron of Tasmania general manager, Ben Cameron, said the decision to join forces with Yumbah was based on a proven working history and the opportunities the onshore abalone-focused Yumbah could bring to his family business.
“Yumbah’s an innovator, as we’ve seen with its drive for vertical integration and commitment to research and development, so it’s exciting to be able come together with Yumbah on a larger scale and continue to bolster the shellfish farming industry,” Mr Cameron said.
Mr Cameron will take a seat on the Yumbah board and remain general manager of the business that will still carry his family name.
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