Alliance hires former Fletcher exec Surveyor to head up meat group
By Paul McBeth
Dec. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Alliance Group, the world's largest processor and exporter of sheepmeat, has hired former Fletcher Building executive David Surveyor to head up the meat processor from next year.
The Invercargill-based, farmer owned cooperative today said Surveyor will join the company as chief executive from January, replacing Grant Cuff, who said in July he was stepping down. Surveyor is currently executive general manager of Fletcher subsidiary Laminex, having previously worked for BHP and Bluescope Steel.
"It is a privilege to be leading the business into its next phase," Surveyor said in a statement. "I aim to build on what has already been achieved to further improve the Alliance Group's performance and returns to the company's shareholder suppliers."
Alliance last month reported an 11 percent increase in annual profit to $6.2 million on revenue of $1.46 billion as it benefited from buoyant consumer confidence, the gradual recovery of the global economy, growing demand for red meat products and improving market prices.
New Zealand meat companies abandoned efforts to consolidate and reduce surplus capacity last year because they lacked an agreed export strategy and farmers wouldn’t commit stock to firms that closed plants, according to people in the industry who were involved in the talks.
The country’s four biggest meat processors - farmer owned cooperatives Silver Fern Farms and Alliance, accounting for about half the industry, the Talley’s Group family-owned Affco and ANZCO Foods, with a majority ownership held by a Japanese food company - ended talks after failing to reach agreement last year.
Silver Fern Farms has since announced a capital structure review and may seek to raise as much as $100 million in new equity, while splitting its sheep, beef and venison processing operations into separate business units.
Alliance chairman Murray Taggart said Surveyor's strategic approach and ability to grow business in changing environments will aid the company as it strengthens its position both locally and abroad.
Melbourne-based Surveyor will move to Christchurch to take up the role, and work out of Alliance's Invercargill headquarters.