New Nutrien Ag keeps some Landmark, Ruralco branding alive

Nutrien Ag keeps some old brands, and won't cut jobs

Agribusiness
Managing director, Rob Clayton, says the Nutrien Ag Solutions name wasn't the only option, but he thinks it's best.

Managing director, Rob Clayton, says the Nutrien Ag Solutions name wasn't the only option, but he thinks it's best.

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The live export trade's Landmark International and Frontier International Agri are among those to survive the Nutrien re-brand.

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The Landmark flag is still flying in Australian agribusiness circles, despite this week's announcement of a new brand for the newly-merged Landmark-Ruralco company - Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Some remnant branding from the Ruralco stable will also stay unchanged under the new management regime for a while, at least.

Overall, the supersized farm services business has adopted its Canadian parent company's name, already prominent in the farm inputs market in North and South America.

It is also running with Nutrien's black, white and light green colour scheme.

However, the Landmark name lives on in the live export trade, with its livestock shipping and air freight venture, Landmark International not being rebadged as Nutrien, and nor will its former Ruralco rival, Frontier International Agri.

Nutrien Ag Solutions managing director and former Landmark boss, Rob Clayton, also assured his non-cropping customer base the Nutrien brand would be differentiated to represent other business categories such as wool marketing, livestock sales or insurance.

"They'll be branded Nutrien Wool, Nutrien Livestock, Nutrien Finance or Nutrien Insurance," he said.

We're still thinking through the rural real estate options and won't make final decisions until next year - Rob Clayton, Landmark

Tamworth's big Landmark Classic horse sale and campdraft and similar events around Australia would be run by Nutrien Equine.

The group's property marketing partnership with real estate group Harcourts would also stay as Landmark Harcourts, for the time being, and Ruralco's CRT merchandise business name continues.

"We're still thinking through the rural real estate options and won't make final decisions until next year," he said.

A variety of ownership structures associated with many former Ruralco business partnerships, particularly in the property marketing field, would also require time to settle the branding arrangements.

Canadian fertiliser and farm chemical giant, Nutrien, took ownership of Ruralco Holdings' business on October 1, merging it with Landmark to enjoy, in theory, about 45 per cent of Australia's farm services and merchandise market share.

Nutrien also operates in the US, Uraguay, Chille, Argentina and Brazil.

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The new overarching Nutrien Ag brand for Australia was revealed to 4000-plus staff on Monday, including about 700 attending a company conference on Queensland's Gold Coast.

The first Nutrien signage on a company office will be unveiled in NSW at Dubbo today.

`It was our choice'

Mr Clayton said while the name was clearly of North American origin, the local company was left to decide if it wanted to adopt the international brand, or something different.

"It definitely was not forced on us," he said.

"Back in Canada they know Australia is a different business to what exists in the other six markets, and we get a lot of free rein to decide what's best for our marketplace and customers.

"I genuinely think the Nutrien brand is the best long term option - it will firmly position the Australian business as part of a global agricultural powerhouse."

Among the advantages in adopting an established global name, were the appeal of the international connection to a rising cohort of millennial generation agribusiness players, and the practicalities of using technology platforms shared from North America.

No need for nostalgia 

However, Mr Clayton also acknowledged some legitimate customer nostalgia for retaining brands like Landmark, or resurrecting the legacy Dalgety name.

Yet, much had changed in the rural marketplace in the past decade he said, and it made sense for the company to look forward, not back.

Meanwhile, as part of its organisational restructure Nutrien Ag has appointed 11 divisional managers - four more than in the previous Landmark network.

The drought is definitely impacting on our business, but unlike some, we aren't cutting staff back to working two or three days a week - Rob Clayton

In the past few weeks the merged business has also closed its old South Australian Landmark division office, moving staff into Ruralco's Adelaide premises, and centralised staff at one site at Deniliquin in southern NSW.

"We're deciding on how to use our sites on a location by location basis, but if it makes sense to minimise some running costs by reducing what we pay in rent we will look at it," Mr Clayton said.

No drought job cuts

However, he emphasised "we're not talking about getting rid of people".

"Like every rural business, the drought is definitely impacting on our business, but unlike some, we aren't cutting staff back to working two or three days a week," he said.

"We're not asking people to take a pay cut just because things are tough, and we're not doing redundancies."

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The story New Nutrien Ag keeps some Landmark, Ruralco branding alive first appeared on Farm Online.

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