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John Finlayson. 2016 Scholarship winner

John Finlayson. 2016 Scholarship winner

John Finlayson, from Armidale in New South Wales, has received a Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship supported by Rabobank.

He will investigate options for vertically integrated, paddock-to-plate meat supply chains, with a focus on cooperative producer models.

John, who manages his family-owned 2200-hectare sheep and cattle grazing and trading business, Pointsfield Pastoral Group, says there is unprecedented consumer interest in the origin of meat and how it has been raised and processed.

He says this creates opportunities for producers to connect with and sell directly to consumers if the right supply chain systems are in place.

John plans to use his scholarship to research overseas cooperative meat processing models and small-scale processing technologies that could potentially help Australian grower groups achieve this.

He says he will also look at meat processing regulations and options for use of by-products in other countries.

“In our own business we focus on cost of production and grazing efficiency, enabling us to grow a consistent meat product, value-add and achieve market and seasonal flexibility,” he says.

“The next step is to supply direct to consumers and we need to work out how to best manage the supply chain to do this effectively.”

John will travel to Canada, China, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and the United States to investigate a range of meat processing and retailing facilities and producer cooperative models.

Rabobank is pleased to support John Finlayson as a 2016 Nuffield Scholar. The organisation said it’s a valuable investment in the growth of agriculture in New South Wales alongside Nuffield Australia, which is at the forefront of developing future industry leaders.

Nuffield Australia chief executive officer Jim Geltch said Nuffield now boasted more than 350 scholars in Australia who, through their scholarship global study tours, had significant insight into global agricultural production systems.

“We are building capacity for the nation’s food and fibre industries to be world leaders in the adoption of technology, best practice and innovation,” he said.

“Nuffield Scholars are influencing industry and community changes, resulting in agricultural productivity increases and economic development for rural communities.

“The Nuffield experience adds new dimensions to the way scholars think about the economic, environmental and social aspects of global food production.

“Engagement and investment in capacity building and talent development in agriculture is critical as the global population continues to escalate and the amount of land available for food production shrinks.”

Scholars undertake a 16-week program of group and individual travel.

Global Focus Program tours will visit several countries in March/April or June/July 2016, including New Zealand, Brazil, the United States of America, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Kenya, Eastern Europe, Singapore, India, Qatar, Turkey, France, the Philippines, China, Canada or Ireland (itineraries will vary between groups).

Applications for Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships open in April each year to Australian primary producers and managers who seek to research a topic important to them and to Australian agriculture.

John is available to talk about his planned travel and can be contacted on:

Phone: 0429 781 149 Email:

Media contact:
Justine Mackay, Cox Inall Communications
P: 0435 325 954; E:

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