Archive for the ‘Industrial relations’ Category

Fairton closure inevitable

May 25, 2017

Wednesday’s announcement by Silver Fern Farms of the proposal to close the company’s Fairton plant was in many ways inevitable. Even the workforce appears to have been resigned to the probability for several years. Sad as it is for workers and the Ashburton community, it is better to front up to the certainty than to have to wait for the axe to fall. (more…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

Past, present and future of the meat industry (Part 2)

June 7, 2016

Present

Today’s industry has many of the same characteristics as the mid 1980s, but a number of things have changed, mostly for the better. (more…)

Past, Present and Future of the Meat Industry

June 7, 2016

Introduction

I gave a presentation recently to a Beef + Lamb Field Day about the meat industry. I briefly reviewed the history of the industry, the impact of certain key events and the influence of politics leading up to the 1985 election. I then gave an appraisal of the present covering the last 30 years, post subsidies, when the sector had to modernise fast; and lastly I took a punt on predicting what might happen in the foreseeable future and how farmers and meat companies might have to adapt to survive and flourish.

 

For the purpose of presenting these thoughts to interested readers I have divided the presentation into three parts which will be published separately. The first part is a review of the first 100 years and how this period determined the structure of the industry. (more…)

Address to MIRINZ workshop – How and why research is important for the future

March 19, 2016
  1. Themes

 

The three main themes for this workshop are:

 

  1. Added value products focusing on key points of differentiation in NZ meat products with a research emphasis on credible health and nutritional benefits.
  2. Value from quality – research outcomes that will enable the red meat sector to meet increasing demand for high value premium meat products in existing and new markets.
  • Provenance and food assurance – research from fork to farm to ensure that exports are safe, of superior quality with defendable provenance and attractive to consumers.

(more…)

Silver Fern receives an offer it can’t refuse

September 30, 2015

No wonder the deal between Silver Fern farms and Shanghai Mailing took so long to conclude, but from all appearances it was worth waiting for. Not that you would necessarily think so, if you read about the disappointment of some shareholders and the MIE group about the board’s unwillingness to give serious consideration to an alternative farmer offer of $40 million or some of the business commentary. (more…)

Longer season and drought affect Silver Ferns’ banking headroom

July 3, 2015

Silver Fern Farms have been forced to take what CEO Dean Hamilton calls a prudent approach to livestock procurement. This is code for being hard up against the company’s banking facility, directly as a result of greater livestock availability. A longer season in the North Island and pressure from drought in North Canterbury are responsible for this situation. (more…)

MIE plan stimulates debate but won’t fix the problem

April 1, 2015

The Pathways to Long-Term Sustainability document launched earlier this month makes some very valid points about the red meat industry’s shortcomings, but its recommendations are almost certainly impossible to implement. (more…)

Silver Fern Farms release audited result just before Christmas

December 24, 2014

The delayed and much anticipated final result for Silver Fern Farms’ 2014 year has made it into the public arena in time for Christmas. Although it has squeaked in just above breakeven for the year at $1.8 million pre-tax and $0.5 million after tax, this is worse than the original guidance of $5-7 million announced at the end of October. (more…)