V-Con is Stockhead’s investing focused video conference series, bringing you expert insights, panel discussions and presentations from leading analysts, listed small caps and industry players. This latest video conference focuses on the food and agriculture sector.

Australia’s agriculture and food sector is a booming $71.2 billion industry, contributing 1.9% to our GDP in 2019-20.

It’s the country’s fastest growing sector, and ranks second only to mining in terms of its GDP contribution to the national economy.

Over the last decade, the Australian agricultural sector has outperformed most major sectors, showing impressive resilience in the face of severe droughts, geopolitical shocks, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

And in recent years, the market opportunity in agricultural and food innovation has only grown bigger, attracting greater international focus and investment.

Relying on our international reputation as a modern, safe, reliable producer of food, Australia exports around 70% of the total value of our agricultural production.

Wheat, beef, sugar, and canola are some of the products that are high in demand globally.

The Asian markets are our top destination, a market that’s projected to double by 2050 as the rising middle-class consumers seek alternatives in higher quality, premium food.

Although our food exports to China have dropped in recent times due to political tensions, the Chinese market still represents a multi-billion dollar opportunity for Australian exporters.

Favourable weather conditions this harvest season means that our total agricultural production could surpass the $70bn mark for the first time, but recent warning over a La Nina weather event has the potential to reduce final crop yields.

Other near term challenges include the unavailability of overseas farm workers and fewer cargo spaces, which have led to higher production costs.

There are around 35 agriculture-related stocks on the ASX, most of which have returned double digit figures over the year.

These stocks provide investors with a wide range of options within the sector, ranging from diversified groups like Elders (ASX:ELD) which invests in a variety of agricultural assets, to single product plays like A2 Milk (ASX:A2M).

To get a gauge on the growth prospects for the agriculture and food industry, we hear from experts and a selection of listed Australian companies making waves in the sector, each giving an overview of their projects and technologies, relevant market trends and future plans.

Session 1 – Expert Interview

Sky News and CNBC business journalist Oriel Morrison interviews Doug Rathbone, Chairman at Rathbone Wine Group.

Doug Rathbone is an accomplished public company director with a passion to grow businesses. With over 40 years’ experience in agriculture and food industries, his background spans chemical engineering and commerce. Doug is the chair of Rathbone Wine Group, a family-owned business that includes Victorian wineries, Yering Station and Mount Langi Ghiran, and Xanadu Winery in Western Australia.

Session 2 – Company Presentations

Bio-Gene Technology (ASX:BGT)
Richard Jagger, Chief Executive Officer

Bio-Gene is an Australian agtech company enabling the next generation of novel insecticides, based on naturally occurring compounds. Due to a unique Mode of Action, these compounds can address the growing issue of resistance to current products.

The Sustainable Nutrition Group (ASX:TSN)
Neale Joseph, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

The Sustainable Nutrition Group produces and distributes the Mt Elephant, Australian Primary Hemp and Field Day brands of plant based, premium health and wellness products.

Angel Seafood (ASX:AS1)
Simba Matute, Chief Financial Officer

Angel Seafood is the largest producer of certified organic and sustainable Pacific oysters in the Southern Hemisphere, disrupting a traditional industry with cutting-edge aquaculture techniques.

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies (ASX:ROO)
Boaz Wachtel, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies develops and commercialises disruptive, modular technologies to address problems faced by agriculture today, including plant climate management via root zone temperature optimisation and the shortage of water for irrigation.