Armidale research company breaks into European market

18 August 2011

An Armidale veterinary research company is successfully exporting its services to Europe. Veterinary Health Research established a joint venture with an English company last year, giving them access to the extensive European market.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner said the success of Veterinary Health Research (VHR) highlighted the capabilities of NSW's high-tech agribusiness sector.

"The joint venture has quickly achieved strong sales – Veterinary Health Research's European sales have increased by 40 per cent in 2010-11 and are expected to grow by a further 30 per cent in the current financial year.

"The NSW Government, through the Department of Trade and Investment, is eager to work with the agribusiness sector across our State to open doors on the global stage."

VHR is part of a growing high-tech agribusiness sector in New England which includes companies that are developing sophisticated solutions for animal health, breed research and environmental technology.

The company was established in Armidale in 1991 and employs 24 staff. It is an independent research and development consultancy which conducts animal health research involving all economic livestock species and companion animals. Its research covers product efficacy, safety, production, tolerance, bio-equivalence and dosages for pharmaceutical companies.

VHR Director and Specialist Veterinarian Dr Bruce Chick said the establishment of the joint venture in England enabled the company to significantly increase the export of its services.

"We are aiming to build our international business and be recognised as a site of quality research and development in animal health while maintaining a high level of quality assurance of our services," Dr Chick said.

"We are very pleased with the response from the European market which is reflected in the growth in our sales. A large part of the research work won by the joint venture, Veterinary Research Management, will be carried out at our facilities in Armidale."

Dr Chick said support from the NSW Department of Trade and Investment had helped VHR break into the European market. "One-on-one support from the Export Adviser has been invaluable in developing export strategies, preparing for market visits and managing consultancies to establish the joint venture," he said.