Meat companies and union adapt to changing times

March 8, 2017

The heyday of union representation in the meat industry was more than a quarter of a century ago, but the union still has good coverage across the industry. The decline of stock volumes, closure of the old monolithic single shift plants, shorter seasons and the Employment Contracts Act have all contributed to a massive reduction in the number of meat workers. This has had a dramatic impact on the sheer number of union members employed in the industry, but as a general rule the MWU has good representation across most companies. Read the rest of this entry »

Red Meat Story about more than brand image

February 22, 2017

There has been a great deal of progress towards the development of the New Zealand Red Meat Story, but most of it has been happening under the radar. That is all about to change. B+LNZ is holding a workshop on 1st and 2nd March at which a wide group of industry participants – farmers, government, processors and exporters – will gather to start formulating the detail of the story, assisted by a strong line-up of guest speakers with international experience in brand development. Read the rest of this entry »

Trump encourages trade winds to blow cold

February 9, 2017

It hasn’t taken long for the hawkish new US President to throw several cats among the trade pigeons or doves if you prefer. He has wasted no time in signing an executive order to withdraw from the TPP over which 12 countries had slaved for seven years, but now the participant that probably caused the most delay has acted to ensure it won’t happen at all. Read the rest of this entry »

Heavy market share losses affect Silver Fern Farms’ financial performance

January 26, 2017

In recent weeks there has been an exchange of views about PPCS’s acrimonious takeover of Richmond in 2003. Keith Cooper, ex CEO of the renamed Silver Fern Farms, emerged from anonymity in Middlemarch to castigate the appointment of Sam Robinson to the board of Silver Fern Farms as the Shanghai Maling representative. He was critical of Richmond’s rejection of the original approach by PPCS to buy the Freesia Investments shares from the Meat Board in the mid-1990s and Robinson’s role as Richmond’s chairman. Read the rest of this entry »

NZ sheep and beef farmers more profitable than Northern Hemisphere counterparts

January 19, 2017

When sheep and beef farmers in New Zealand grumpily ponder their forecast returns for 2016-17, they may be able to take some comfort from the precarious state of farmers in Europe, particularly the UK where they are facing even more uncertainty of income. Read the rest of this entry »

Silver Fern Farms comes crashing back to earth

January 19, 2017

Chairman Rob Hewett wasn’t joking early last year when he warned that the 2016 result would not be in line with budget. The actual result was a $30.6 million after tax loss compared with a profit of $24.5 in 2015, although a significant part of the latest year’s result was attributable to a $22.4 million non-cash accounting writedown related to the anticipated Shanghai Maling investment. Nevertheless, at a more comparable level the net pre-tax operating profit remained in negative territory, producing a $7.5 million loss against $30.8 million in the previous year. Read the rest of this entry »

Alliance result not so good on closer inspection

December 3, 2016

At first sight the Alliance profit of $10.1 million for 2016 appeared to be a small but definite improvement over the previous year’s result when no supplier distribution was made. In contrast the directors have decided to pay $9.8 million to their suppliers, although about a third of this will be retained to ensure suppliers share up to a shareholding consistent with their livestock supply volumes. Therefore the final post tax profit was a bare $100,000. Read the rest of this entry »

Meat exporters and farmers must get used to change

November 22, 2016

As if Brexit wasn’t a big enough shock, the US presidential election has really set the cat amongst the pigeons. Commentators of all nationalities and political inclinations have literally no idea how a Trump presidency will affect the world order, from trade agreements and global interest rates to immigration or deportation, let alone internal security issues and relationships with other nations. Read the rest of this entry »

Alliance in good shape

November 12, 2016

Alliance has produced a solid result for the year ended 30 September with a pre-tax profit of $10.1 million compared with $7.9 million for the previous year achieved on 9% lower revenue of $1.366 billion. Of greater significance to farmers is the decision to distribute $9.8 million to shareholders, while the company’s equity position has improved from 58% of assets to 72%. Debt reduced from $129 million to $41 million with no seasonal debt at year end. Read the rest of this entry »

MIE tried hard, but couldn’t make a difference

November 8, 2016

MIE’s decision to disband after three years trying to persuade the red meat sector it was going to hell in a handcart has come as no surprise. But the organisation’s founders and directors are not unnaturally disappointed at their inability to gain support for their plan to solve the endemic problems of the industry. Read the rest of this entry »