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Media release. Stacey Loftus. 2015 Scholarship winner

Media release. Stacey Loftus. 2015 Scholarship winner

Stacey Loftus, from Wonboyn Lake in New South Wales, has been awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

She will study marketing and branding in oyster production.

Stacey is business manager for the family oyster farm, working with her husband Andrew and parents-in-law Ross and Anne. They are one of the largest oyster producers in Wonboyn, farming nine leases over 13 hectares, and producing close to 30-thousand dozen oysters for the domestic market, mostly wholesale into Brisbane and Sydney.

Her main roles in the business are marketing, establishing new relationships with stakeholders, accounting, coordination of staff and managing harvest and stock movement records.

Stacey says historically the Sydney Rock oyster industry has not branded or marketed itself well, a situation she wants to change.

“Oyster farming has not been an environmentally friendly industry, with the use of tar and wooden sticks and rails creating pollution and shell bed problems.

We are moving into a more environmentally responsible age, by using plastics that don’t break down, are often recycled, and always very costly – we now need to use these new sustainable standards to market ourselves,” she explains.

Stacey wants to investigate how oyster farmers all over the world have successfully used branding.

“I am particularly interested in how long-standing industries in Europe and the revitalized American sector approach marketing, but I also realise I can draw experience from other industries,” she says.

Stacey will travel to USA, France, Ireland, Japan and Singapore to complete her research.

Nuffield Australia is an organisation which provides an opportunity to Australian farmers to travel overseas on an agricultural research scholarship. It is a 16-week program consisting of both group and individual travel. The next groups will be travelling through New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Mexico, the UK, South Africa, Kenya and Europe in March-April 2015.

Stacey is available for interviews to talk about her planned study.

stace_85@hotmail.com  Mobile: 0449 146 358

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