Aroon Thala-in is 58 and a rice grower from a deep, inner conviction. He owns three fields in the small village of Non Lam in the Khon Kaen province of north-east Thailand – 37 rai (5.92 ha) in total, which he farms with his 25-year-old son. By Thai standards, this is quite big. The average farm size in the region where Aroon lives is about one hectare.
Ceres Agriculture is one of the top ten cattle finishing operations in Australia. This Australian business sells up to 2,000 head of cattle per week, always has 30,000 cattle on its farms, and has an annual production of around 100,000 carcases. “As far as I know,” says Mark Mason, co-founder and Managing Director of Ceres Agriculture, “We’ve been the first ones that I’m aware of that have scaled supplementary feeding of cattle in the paddock to the extent that we have.” This makes it one of the largest cattle finishing operations in the country, and probably the biggest pasture-based finishing operation in Australia.
Árpád Bártfai and his father-in-law László Gallo farm around 1200 hectares on the Danube Island in Mohács, Hungary, growing mainly soya. When the collective farms were privatised in the 1990s, László Gallo and his colleagues took the opportunity to privatise their own businesses which now employ 20 people. As well as soya, the proprietor and his son-in-law also grow wheat, rape and sunflowers. Another pillar of the family's business is sheep breeding, which makes an important contribution to their income with 300 to 500 lambs per year sold to Italy and Turkey.
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