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We welcome you to our November e-Bulletin

In this issue ...

  • Dairy industry celebrates FTA with China
  • Showing the way
  • Key economic indicators
  • Helping food processors save energy
  • Credit where credit's due
  • Annual leave and shutdowns
  • From the Editor


Dairy industry celebrates FTA with China      

Chairman of the Australian Dairy Industry Council, Noel Campbell, says the industry is already celebrating the deal with China, which delivers an equal, and in some cases better, deal than their New Zealand rivals, who've had free trade into China since 2008.

As part of the deal:

  • dairy tariffs will be phased out over 4-11 years
  • 15 per cent tariff on infant milk formula phased out over four years
  •  tariffs on cheese, butter and yoghurt will be eliminated within nine years
  • tariffs on cream, lactose, casein and milk albumins will be eliminated within four years
  • liquid milk will be tariff-free within nine years

For the full story on how Australia's dairy industry finds competitive advantage in the FTA with China, click here.


Colin Wright
Principal and Rural Advisory
Division Team Leader

If you would like to discuss how trade agreements may affect your business  in the future, please give Colin a call on 03 5144 4566

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Showing the way

Rural agricultural shows continue to inspire local communities and provide farmers with an opportunity to demonstrate their quality produce. Phillipsons was proud once again to support the recent Maffra and Sale shows and wishes to congratulate all entrants in the various categories.

We particularly note and applaud the ever increasing trend at these shows toward the showcase of produce that the public can buy direct from the farmer. Together with the rise of farmers' markets, going direct to market is a winning strategy on a number of levels.

Of course there is a better margin when selling direct to the public than through any other channel. However, the benefits don't stop there. Being able to converse with consumers, receive their immediate feedback and use that to influence future developments is useful. It also provides a forum to educate the consumer about the qualities and applications for the product – ultimately ensuring better outcomes than if a product sits on a shelf requiring a salesperson many times removed from the source to carry out this task.

So, never miss an opportunity to showcase your products and get in front of a customer.

Abe Schuback


To contact Abe or any member of our Business Team call 03 5144 4566.


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Key economic indicators

Our market analyst Fred Strauss provides the latest key economic indicators.

If you have an interest in where the economy is headed it is important to develop your own understanding of the economy and the factors shaping it.

Economic reports and indicators are statistics put out by various agencies, which provide measurements for evaluating the health of our economy, the latest business cycles and how consumers are spending and generally faring.

Even if you don't follow these reports yourself, it is helpful to know where the 'experts' are drawing their opinions from. 

Paying attention to economic indicators can give you an idea of where the economy is headed so you can plan your finances accordingly.

Just remember that data can change rapidly, and that broad trends are not judged by one isolated economic data point.           

These are some of the most common and vital economic indicators. Just click here.


Fred Strauss is an independent and highly regarded investment expert, and is part of our investment committee.

Fred keeps a close eye on international markets, and USA in particular.

If you would like to get more of Fred's insights or to discuss your individual investment strategy, contact our financial advisors on 03 5144 5207 or

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Helping food processors save energy     

Saving energy for Gippsland food processors is the focus of our Supplychainsmarts project, funded by Sustainability Victoria. We've been looking at a variety of businesses, wineries, a hothouse rose farm and an abattoir, trying to find ways that these high energy users can cut their power demands and their bills. We've been helped by the clever Gabriel Hakim of Agvet Projects in Warragul and the also-clever RMIT Masters of Sustainable Engineering students.

ABC Gippsland joined Agribusiness Gippsland on an assessment visit of Gordyn's abattoir at Sale – a vital local business for the surrounding beef growers. Read all about it here:




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Credit where credit's due

When it comes to your credit rating, it's time to think positive! With the introduction of comprehensive reporting  earlier this year, you can have a credit rating that actually shows your positive creditworthiness to would-be lenders, and not just your shortcomings.

In the past, credit agencies only held negative reports on your credit status. For example, they took note if you had any defaults on loan payments and/or the number of applications you made for loans but not whether they were approved.

Under the new regime you are awarded a credit rating score. The maximum score you can achieve is 1200 points, with the national average being 760. Lenders will be able to assess your creditworthiness by your ranking. If, for instance, it is as low as 200, then lenders will know you have a 50 per cent chance of suffering an adverse credit event in the next 12 months.

To read about the global trend, how to find out your rating and improve it, and more - click here.


For more information

Go to: newsletters/credit_where_

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Annual leave and shutdowns

A word from David Bates, our specialist employee relations partner

Two of the most common questions asked are whether or not an employee can 'cash-out' their unused annual leave and whether or not a business can direct employees to take leave during annual closedowns, such as between Christmas and the New Year.

Cashing out of unused annual leave is no longer a matter that can simply be agreed between employers and their employees. The Fair Work Act 2009 imposes a number of very important – and legally enforceable – restrictions around the cashing out of unused leave and these must always be fully considered before any agreement to cash out is reached.

Many businesses shutdown at certain times of the year for a range of industry or company-specific reasons. Whether you can require your employees to use any of their annual leave entitlements during such periods is once again regulated by the Fair Work Act 2009 and by any applicable Modern Awards.

Click here to read for the full detail of what David has to say.

To find out more about Workforce Guardian, jump onto their website - Workforce Guardian offers subscriptions to access expert advice and resources:

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And finally, a word from the editor ...

This issue of e-Bulletin has a decidedly rural flavour – and rightly so given how important what we breed and grow here in Australia is so crucial to the future success of our economy.


'Free Trade' is occupying a lot of political energy, but it is up to business to take up the opportunity and do something with it once it is there. 


With the silly season fast approaching, put some careful planning into your staff plans for leave and other benefits. While it is the thought that counts, lack of thought probably counts for more - and not in a good way!


Until next month ... all the best



Kurt Best
General Manager

Kurt Best
Partner – General Manager

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