ABS Australia is a leading supplier of bovine genetics in Australia and is a division of Genus plc, a world leader in applying science to animal breeding —creating advances through biotechnology and selling added value products for livestock farming and food processors.
The Genus Vision statement is “Pioneering animal genetic improvement to help nourish the world”.
For more than 75 years, ABS has been at the forefront of animal genetics and follows the true meaning of the Genus vision. We have been the industry pioneer and will continue to do so by creating differentiated and proprietary genetic improvement solutions that better meet the needs of our customers. Our customers are evolving, consolidating, and building a deeper understanding of the value genetic improvement can have on their bottom line and prosperity. ABS is here to help customers build a more efficient and profitable herd faster than any other company and is leading the way to help maximize animal and financial performance. We help our customers PROFIT FROM GENETIC PROGRESS.
ABS Australia led the market with extensive genomic screening in 2014 to identify and distribute the most suitable and profitable bulls for Australian dairy farmers. This changed focus was around profitable returns to farmers through smart genetic selection.
The results of this program have uncovered some of the best global genetics available from around the world and changed the way all companies and farmers view bull selection in Australia. Breeding a more profitable, healthy and efficient cow has never been more possible than today. ABS' innovative approach has delivered world class profitable (bull) options to Australia's national milking & breeding herd.
In 1973, American Breeding Services (ABS Global) purchased Animal Breeding Services Ltd. in New Zealand. With it, ABS Global brought immense influence to the New Zealand dairy population from its breeding program in America. The company which used the name "Ambreed" for telex communications between the USA and NZ officially took on the name when kiwi staff acquired the interest of the business in 1976.
Riverina Artificial Breeders (RAB) was the first distributor of ABS semen in Australia before Graeme Gillan & Phil Malcolm were appointed to offer a greater range of products & services.
The ABS Australia distributorship was established in the late 1980s and was instrumental in changing the landscape of the dairy genetics industry in Australia. ABS Australia cultivated a following for imported genetics, successfully introduced the Genetic Management System (GMS®) mating program and utilized powerful marketing strategies with well qualified and trained sales staff to build a well respected and profitable business. Genus PLC purchased ABS Australia in 2002, marking their entry into Australia as the leading semen wholesaler in the country.
Riverina Artificial Breeders (RAB) was the second largest semen production/progeny testing centre in Australia. Privately held and based in Albury, NSW, RAB built their business on genetic differentiation with imported embryos and live bulls through the late 80s & early 90s. Genus purchased RAB in 2003, providing the company with entry into the maturing Australian AI market.
These acquisitions were the first phase of the Genus strategic plan to establish a strong position in the growing Australian market. The plan included owning and developing a ‘grassland’ product for domestic and international clients and focusing on the wholesale market to generate greater profits for the company. The acquisitions also contributed to plans to establish a hub for future Asian bovine market penetration.
In 2004, the ABS Australia business wholesaled dairy and beef semen through over sixty resellers in Australia with sales and administration functions handled through the office in Nunawading, Victoria. Bull housing, semen production and wholesale distribution were managed at the ‘Langiballa’ property in Albury, NSW, with bull lay-off facilities at the ‘Jarrah’ property nearby. Other bulls were housed and collected at the Total Livestock Genetics (TLG) facilities at Camperdown, Victoria.
In July 2004 the sales, administration and production processes were rationalized to a single location at Albury, NSW. As bulls received proof information new graduates were relocated from TLG to the Albury production facilities. A new office was built in Albury and opened in October 2006.
The next phase of the ABS Australia strategic plan was entry into the retail and herd recording sectors of the industry with the acquisition of six business acquisitions from late 2004 to mid 2007 in Victoria and South Australia.
The severe drought conditions through 2006-07 forced many farmers and agriculture suppliers to make dramatic changes to their businesses due to heightened costs and reduced revenues, and ABS Australia was no exception with several branch offices across northern and western Victoria consolidated. Declines in semen sales and concerns over the amount of time the market may take to positively respond, led to a decision to outsource semen production to further reduce production costs. A production contract was entered into with Total Livestock Genetics (TLG) in Camperdown and over several months the production bulls were moved to TLG, where it remains today. Semen production in Albury ceased in December 2007.
In 2014 a new head office was opened in Somerton, Melbourne and both the Customer Service and despatch departments were relocated to the new site. Advantages to customers resulting from the move included faster shipments of orders as the central location is close to all transport hubs.
In 2013 ABS Australia sold the herd testing arm of its business to National Herd Development to concentrate on its core business of cattle genetics.
In 2016 ABS Australia reverted to a wholesale business, exiting from the provision of on-farm services but ensuring a continuity of services to customers by existing service providers, enabling it to concentrate its efforts on the development of the best possible genetics and products to increase the rate of genetic gain on Australian dairy farms.
Today ABS Australia is a thriving business providing quality products and innovative services to dairy and beef producers across Australia. Sales and service are carried out through local a mix of retail outlets and preferred wholesale resellers. ABS employs 40 people in administration, technical services and semen sales. Innovations introduced in recent times include Reproduction Management Systems® (RMS®) to assist Australian dairy producers in improving herd reproductive efficiency; and genomic tested young sires.
ABS Australia has established itself as the domestic industry leader in dairy and beef semen sales. Additionally, ABS has established a broad global market for Australian beef and dairy genetics, with up to 200,000 units of semen exported to Latin America, the UK, Ireland and South Africa annually.
Through their philosophy of ‘Profit From Genetic Progress’ ABS Australia has established a strong local business that offers Australian livestock producers exceptional global benefits and opportunities.