QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA —Emerald Group announced on Sept. 6 the expansion of its distribution reach via the acquisition of a long established grain company in Queensland, Australia as well as the opening of four additional offices across three states. The expansion of the existing network has been driven by Emerald’s model of providing local representation to grain producers across Australia.

"Toowoomba-based Philp Brodie Grains will become part of the Emerald Group on Oct. 1, following the acquisition of 100% of the Philp Brodie business," said Emerald Chairman Alan Winney. "The acquisition adds an established Queensland business to the businesses already operating within the Emerald group of companies. Peter Brodie and John Philp have been leaders in the Queensland grain industry for over four decades and this business provides an excellent platform for Emerald’s further expansion. The Philp Brodie name will continue, Peter Brodie will remain as managing director and the company will actively represent Emerald in southern and central Queensland."

Emerald also announced expansion of its Victorian activities, where it operates through the SQP joint venture business in conjunction with the SQP Cooperative. SQP will add a new office in Swan Hill servicing the Mallee region in Victoria. This office will be in addition to the existing SQP offices in Ballarat and Horsham.

Two new offices will be added in Western Australia located at new Merredin office and Albany. These offices will service the eastern wheat belt and the great Southern regions respectively and will supplement existing Emerald offices in Geraldton, Perth and Esperance.

A new office will be established in Adelaide to work with growers in eastern South Australia, this office will operate independently from the existing joint venture that Emerald shares with grower group Free Eyre on the Eyre Peninsula. The Southern Ag Grain JV operating out of Wagga, in conjunction with grower company Southern Ag Venture, will also expand its operations by adding two new grain merchants.

This acquisition of Philp Brodie in Queensland and the expansion in other states will move the Emerald footprint to 13 grain focused offices around the grain belt. These offices are all manned by specialist staff and this expansion is part of Emerald’s ongoing commitments to be located on the ground in regional Australia. This commitment to rural Australia and its grain producers was recognized last week with the announcement that Emerald was awarded the 2010 BRW Leading Private Business Award for regional Australia.

"To be acknowledged by industry stakeholders for this prestigious award was a thrill for the entire Emerald team," Winney said. "In particular we thank all the growers who have supported us since our start up only six years ago and our joint venture and alliance partners including Western Australia farmers".