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Early Christmas present for sheep farmers

Early Christmas present for sheep farmers

Meat company Lean Meats has announced a bonus payment to its farmer supplier shareholders after a stronger company performance in 2013.

Lean Meats chief executive Richard Thorp today announced a return to its Atkins Ranch Producer Group (ARPG) providing shareholder farmer suppliers an average of 31 cents a kilogram or $5.74 a lamb.

This year’s payment is split with an average of $1.85 per head paid at six weeks after processing and the remaining $3.89 per head being paid in the last working week of December.

Mr Thorp said the financial return can be attributed to farmers supplying lambs at a market reflected procurement price; through the company being able to market and sell more packed items from a carcass and gaining export status to China earlier in the year via its Oamaru plant.

“We’re pleased to be in a position to provide a return to our loyal shareholder farmer suppliers. The sector has seen difficult times and everyone in the supply chain has worked hard to get into a better position.”

“Our approach hasn’t changed over the last 25 years, we have encouraged our farmers to be part of the value chain and they have stuck by us and this year we can now reward ARPG members with a return above schedule.

“There has been a market correction at the farm gate but returns have improved for suppliers from the previous year and export certification to China has opened up a market opportunity to a growing demand for lamb cuts.

“We remain very confident that we can continue to perform at similar levels based on increased demand from China and sales of lamb primals into the United Kingdom, Europe and North America.

“Our strategic direction for doing business with China is based on keeping it simple, building strong customer relationships and not attempting to be everything to everyone,” Mr Thorp said.

He says the company has also strengthened its sales and marketing focus with several key appointments in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom. In 2012 it appointed Alister King as Marketing Manager and recently appointed Chris Balaam in London as its UK & Europe sales and marketing representative.

To become an ARPG member, farmers are required to buy 2000 shares. ARPG members receive a payment of 90 percent six weeks after slaughter and then the remaining 10 percent, three months after slaughter.

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Lean Meats farmer supplier James Rogers from Koeke Estate, near Taihape, said the bonus above schedule is a timley windfall following recent tough times.

“It’s been a tough time for farmers throughout the North Island and around Taihape. Due to the drought we supplied lambs a bit lighter than we would have liked, but we’re thrilled to be getting a return above schedule,” he says.

The decision to excusively supply Lean Meats has been a good one according to Mr Rogers.

“What’s not appealing about Lean Meats? We like to be involved beyond the farm gate in our industry by being shareholders in the company we supply to.”

“Our aspiration is that Lean Meats will be the “Tatua” of the Sheep Meat industry, enabling it to deliver superior returns to it’s loyal suppliers and shareholders.

“It’s exciting and it’s great to have an outlet for slightly less value cuts, which increases the whole value of the lamb,” Mr Rogers said.


ends

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