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Westland Milk Products delivers more economic cheer

MEDIA RELEASE
28 September 2011

Westland Milk Products delivers more economic cheer

The dairy cooperative, Westland Milk Products, has delivered welcome cheer to the West Coast and the wider economy, with its second highest payout off revenues of over half a billion dollars.

“It has been a hell of year for the West Coast and this payout, the second best in our cooperative’s history, provides some welcome good news,” says Richard Reynolds, Federated Farmers West Coast Dairy chairperson and a Barrytown dairy farmer.

“This means a cooperative that is 100 percent owned by West Coasters is now generating more than half a billion dollars in revenue. That’s more, for instance, than the combined export revenue from beverages, spirits and pharmaceuticals.

“A $7.58 kilogram of milksolids (kg/MS) payout will put $380 million into the West Coast economy. This could have been higher if we had matched Fonterra’s payout of $7.90.

“While Fonterra recorded a 19 percent lift in revenue, Westland Milk Products has lifted revenues by 21 percent to $525 million. We may not have Fonterra’s scale but we are growing a rounded business.

“Westland is moving away from being a commodity milk power producer and moving into higher value products that will close the payout difference between the two cooperatives.

“An example of the change in Westland’s direction yesterday, was our cooperative’s announcement of a new paediatric nutritional manufacturing plant in Hokitika The fact our cooperative can do this is all down to a sound retentions policy and a well thought out strategic direction.

“The importance of dairy is underscored by the direct and indirect jobs related to it. Nowadays, one out of seven jobs in Westland District and one out of thirteen in Buller, relate to dairy. Everyone will benefit from a great year for the cooperative.

“I expect farmers will focus on reducing the mortgage and improving their farms profitability as well as investing in the future of their farm through environmental enhancement.

“We’re not farming for capital gain, we’re farming for profitability,” Mr Reynolds concluded.

ENDS

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