AUSTRALIA - Australia's largest cattle empire is set to become hi-tech under a new ownership consortium made up of Australian and Chinese investors.
The new owners of S Kidman cattle empire, including China's Shanghai CRED, have agreed to introduce new technology to the cattle stations to streamline production.
The push for the introduction of the technology was led by Gina Rinehart, Australia's richest woman and majority stake holder in the consortium, and will be similar to technology already used by Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting.
Gui Guojie, principal of Shanghai CRED, agreed with Rinehart at the meeting in Melbourne that technology such as remote monitoring of cattle and walkover weighing for livestock should be introduced at Kidman's stations which encompass 101,000 square-km of pastoral land.
"This increased investment in technology approach will involve more training and some cultural change at Kidman, as the company gears to become one of the best cattle companies in Australia," Hancock Prospecting said in a statement on Monday.
Before the board meeting, Rinehart travelled to Kidman properties including stations in the Northern Territory (NT), South Australia (SA), Western Australia (WA) and Queensland to show staff the technological improvements.
"Mrs Rinehart was delighted that this was met with great enthusiasm from many of the Kidman station managers for such changes," Hancock said.
Hancock, which Rinehart chairs, said the Kidman stations were currently running herds well below their usual average but is still one of the biggest cattle operations in Australia with a herd of 150,000.
It said the investment in technology would transform and improve the Kidman stations.
Rinehart purchased the pastoral portfolio, which accounts for 1.3 per cent of Australia's total land area, with Shanghai CRED in December 2016 for US$300 million.
The consortium has since flagged that exporting top quality beef to China would be a major focus of Kidman's new strategy.
TheCattleSite News Desk
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