From the CEO

Happy New Year to all.

I hope the vagaries of Mother Nature have not impacted you too negatively over December and January and you had the opportunity to spend some quality time with your friends and family.

As I am sure you are very aware, we have been working hard on getting our co-operative onto a stronger financial footing after recording a loss in our 2016 financial year. The return to profit in 2017 has been followed up with a stronger performance so far in the first half of this financial year.

One of the key stepping stones to a better performance from your co-operative is what we are calling our “Whole of Business” approach. An interesting factoid is that if we had all shareholders do business with us the way our best performing shareholders do business with us, we could grow the co-operative by 40% or $825 million.

Why is this helpful? It would allow us to negotiate more effective terms on larger volumes across our shareholder base. This would then give us better offers for our members, who would in turn buy more through us, which would allow us to receive better terms. The virtuous circle would keep spinning.

The unfortunate reality is the opposite is also the case – if you stop buying something through your co-operative, we sell less and our terms and offer get put under pressure. I appreciate at any point of time there could be a better opportunity out there on a specific item. Our ambition is to deliver you the best price across the portfolio over time. The more you do with us, the greater our ability to deliver on that commitment. It was the founding principle of our original shareholders – collective strength is how we will gain opportunity over and above our individual strength.

With your support we are building a more effective, stronger co-operative that is providing offers that benefit you – whether that be through what is in our stores, the amazing Card offers, Fuel, Nutrition products, Grain and Seed and or from our fantastic Real Estate team.

We need to demonstrate value to our suppliers in return for their support of us. The collective strength of our members supporting our business delivers on this value. Your support is appreciated. We know we need to hold ourselves to account to earn your support – we want to work with you so both the business and shareholders are building a strong, sustainable co-operative for now and into the future.

You can see a great example of how this works with the Meadow Mushrooms story in this month’s edition of The Farmlander.

Enjoy your read.

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Peter Reidie
Farmlands CEO