Hassad Food Landgrabs for Sheep and Wheat, Australia

Description
Hassad Food is a US$1-billion company established by Qatars sovereign wealth fund. It has been leading the countrys quest to secure farmland overseas for the export of food to Qatar. To date Hassad Food, under its subsidiary name Hassad Australia, has acquired 13 large farms in Australia for sheep and wheat production which, according to Stock & Land, amount to 750,000 ha. Hassad Food intends to double its investments in Australia from $200 to $400 million. In response to these large land acquisitions, independent senator Nick Xenophon and the Green Party have proposed a bill that would require any application to buy Australian agricultural land greater than 5ha or more than $5 million to be subject to online transparency and more government regulations.

Basic Data
NameHassad Food Landgrabs for Sheep and Wheat, Australia
CountryAustralia
ProvinceQueensland ; New South Wales ; Victoria ; Western Australia States
SiteCunnamulla in south-western Queensland, Warren and Trangie in central western NSW, Canowindra on the southern slopes in NSW, Moyston and Strathdownie in Victoria’s Western District, Telopea Downs in Victoria’s Wimmera, and Bindi Bindi, Jerramungu
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Meat
Live Animals
Wheat
Meat (Sheep)
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsHassad Food supplies Quatar with 60% of food imports, and from Australia imports 100,000 sheep, 260,000 tonnes of rice and 150,000 tonnes of other grains annually from their 750,000 ha ownings.

Project Area (in hectares)750,000
Level of Investment (in USD)400,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2009
Company Names or State EnterprisesHassad Food from Qatar
Relevant government actorsQatars sovereign wealth fund, Foreign Investment Review Board , Senator Nick Xenophon, Green Party
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNational Farmers’ Federation, http://www.nff.org.au/
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Other - Advocacy Group: NFF
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNew legislation
Development of AlternativesNew legislation, to reduce the minimum level of sales reported to the Treasurer for review from $248 million to $5 million.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The landgrabs will continue in Australia as long as the political environment remains supportive to unregulated foreign purchases. An election on the 14th of September, 2013, will determine the future of regulations.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Australia’s Foreign Investment Policy

References

, 2013, Company's website
[click to view]

, 2012, Land the perfect investment for foreigners
[click to view]

Gulf Times, 2013, 'Hassad Can Meet 60% of Quatar's Food Needs Now'

Links

, Company's website
[click to view]

, Land the perfect investment for foreigners'
[click to view]

Gulf Times, 'Hassad Can Meet 60% of Quatar's Food Needs Now' - ‘can-meet--60%-of-qatar's--food-needs-now'
[click to view]

[click to view]

[click to view]

National Farmers' Federation
[click to view]

Other CommentsIf opposition parties win the September 2013 election, as expected, foreign farm purchases over $13 million will be faced with tighter scrutiny.

The full list of sites are:

-28.078039,145.688095 ; -31.70714,147.838097 -32.037184,147.985039 ; -33.567002,148.660612 -37.300753,142.766815 ; -37.72857,141.144519 -36.12713,141.108556 ; -30.631709,116.364727 -33.948487,118.922768 ; -33.862719,121.89394

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ContributorAliza Tuttle
Last update24/06/2014
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