Australian rural wholesaler, Australian Independent Rural Retailers Pty Ltd (AIRR), today announces the acquisition of The Hunter River Company, an Australian owned manufacturer of animal health products.

AIRR Managing Director, Peter Law, says this acquisition places AIRR in a leading competitive position in animal health in Australia and enhances AIRR’s strategy to provide its own range of animal health brands. As a unique member based buying group created to service independent rural and pet and produce retailers, a strong private label strategy is essential.

‘AIRR has already established a significant range of crop protection products under the Apparent brand’ said Mr. Law, ‘The Hunter River Company range now gives AIRR one of the largest portfolios of private label animal health products in the country. This forms the cornerstone of our Independents Own brand strategy that already boasts over 200 products. The AIRR offer to resellers and farmers will continue to include support for proprietary multinational brands plus our own private label brands’.

‘The Australian animal health market is becoming increasingly genericised’ says Peter Lourey, AIRR General Manager Sales and Purchasing. ‘There are only a few products still on patent with most of these expiring in the next couple of years. In addition, there are no new molecules on the horizon.

It is critical for wholesalers to integrate into manufacturing if they are to remain competitive’. Having a healthy private label strategy allows a greater and more balanced distribution of profits along the entire supply channel, drives innovation in the market segment and increases service levels to the industry.

As a relatively new entity onto the Australian market, The Hunter River Company has created a portfolio of over 30 animal health products.

‘In fact’, said Mr Lourey, ‘some of the Hunter River products already registered are still under patent, so AIRR is extremely well positioned for the future’.

To ensure AIRR will remain as the leading rural supplier of private label products in Australia, the principals of The Hunter River Company, James Slack and Steve Crothers, have agreed to develop further products for AIRR on an exclusive basis.

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