Westland Payout on the Way Up
Westland Payout on the Way Up
Westland Milk Products has reached a milestone in its efforts to offer shareholders a sustainable and industry competitive payout with confirmation of next season’s forecast payout.
Westland is forecasting a net payout range (after retentions) of $6.40 to $6.80 for 2017-18 season – a substantial improvement on the two previous seasons. The industry-competitive forecast comes after ten months of analysis and systems change under its new Chief Executive Toni Brendish and new Chair Pete Morrison, resulting in changes at both managerial and board level to better position the company for success in a changing and challenging global dairy market.
Key to Westland’s revival, Brendish said, has been the focus on improving efficiencies in the organisation – the company has achieved close to $70million in savings and efficiencies in the last ten months. These savings alone, she said, had enabled the Board to forecast the more competitive payout for this coming season.
“Supporting this extensive cross company revision is a clear strategy and purpose, Brendish said. “A great company has a clear understanding of what its purpose is and it articulates that throughout its company structure, with all staff having a clear understanding of how their role helps achieve that purpose.”
Westland’s new purpose is Nourishment Made Beautifully for Generations.
“This is a purpose that captures the essence of Westland,” Brendish said. “It draws upon the strength we derive from our environment, our land, and the generations of people who have farmed it, and uses that to establish our point of difference with our customers.
“We make nourishment, and we make it beautifully. That encompasses values such as ethics, trust, authenticity, quality, safety, capability and flexibility.
“And, most importantly, it links the generations of our past to the generations of our future. Westland would not be where it is today without the pioneering spirit of its early farming families. It is those original strengths and values that will take us forward in a market where, increasingly, consumers what to know the story of their product and the people who made it.”
Brendish said there was also greater clarity on the strategy: “To offer differentiated products that leverage our heritage and location”.
“Our strategy is based upon the points that our purpose highlights: leveraging our heritage and authenticity, taking advantage of our location, and establishing our points of difference.”
Brendish added that Westland’s size and facilities gave it the capability to be more flexible. It can segregate its processing systems to offer customers specialty products where there is higher value and an available market niche.
“There are additional costs in becoming a flexible, niche market producer,” she said. “But by offering such a service we can command a price premium that will not only outweigh the additional costs but deliver our shareholders a higher, more sustainable return in what will always be a highly volatile market.
“Westland, quite simply, cannot afford to remain almost wholly reliant on bulk commodities. It must utilise its heritage of place, environment and intergenerational care to offer differentiated products designed for, and with, its customers.”