Tuesday, 14 March 2017 10:55

Westland to increase value added products

Written by  Peter Burke
Westland’s UHT destined for China. Westland’s UHT destined for China.

A major Westland Milk Products strategy is to increase the amount of value added products versus commodity milk powder.

The much talked about figure was 30% percent, but the new chief executive, Toni Brendish, says the co-op still has not achieved this.

“The previous strategy was expressed as value added. As far as I am concerned, value added is not a strategy; I define value add as what you do, in other words an outcome.

“Having worked in fast moving consumer goods for nearly 30 years, I see value add as everything from your supply chain, your finance, marketing, products -- everything. Westland’s strategy needs to be fine-tuned: we want the outcome of selling more value add, and the strategy is how we achieve that.”

Brendish believes Westland’s move into Canterbury was a good strategy because it helped achieve efficiencies within the business.

WMP’s getting back on its feet will require people who can execute the new operation strategies, she says. Redundancies are inevitable, but no numbers are available yet because the review of the organisation is not finalised.

New product initiatives will kick in over the next three months, all in the higher margin category. The Westland team is focusing on efficiencies in sales and marketing and supply chain areas.

“Everyone including the shareholders is asking me for a time-line as to when things will happen. We have to get in place a number of things so that when we start the new season they have an impact. So we are talking August of this year.

“One reason for doing the review now is so that we are up and running and well prepared. A couple of other things probably won’t start to hit until the latter part of the year because they will require capital spending and various things. But we have to start seeing the benefit of the change from the start of the season.”

Being a small company enables WMP to be agile and to react quicker than larger companies -- an advantage, as is the uniqueness of the Westland story.

“I will probably tell it differently because of the person I am. There are many great stories to be told about how a cooperative works and how we are successful. People outside New Zealand love to hear how it evolved, and we want to connect the end user with the farmer; technology will make that happen. People will be able to see the farm, the cows and all aspects of the farming operation. For example, we know now that in China animal welfare is an issue for consumers.”

Brendish sees something special in the West Coast heritage. “It is almost more NZ than NZ and I think there is an opportunity to leverage off that.”

 

More like this

Ringing changes at Westland milk

Westland Milk Products chief executive Toni Brendish has been keeping her promise to get the company back on its feet after a couple of troubled financial years.

Westland’s milk price boosts confidence

West Coast farmers are hailing Westland Milk’s opening payout forecast range of $6.40 - $6.80/kgMS for the new season as good news and a sign that WMP is back on track.

Wide ranging strategies in dairy lineup

The revenue range/kgMS of New Zealand’s dairy companies is remarkably wide -- from Tatua’s $18.58 to Fonterra’s commodity return of $5.81 -- says a new report on the dairy industry.

 
 

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Health cards for cow ID

The animal husbandry department of an Indian state has stepped up work to provide health cards to cows.

Feed them spuds

In 1993 Jim Herr, the owner of Herr Food Inc, in the US, most famous for its line of potato…

 

» Connect with Dairy News

 
 

Markets

South Island wool sale eases

South Island wool sale eases

The 4700 bales on offer saw a 74% clearance with mixed results, however all prices paid locally are still above…

Wool continues to ease

Wool continues to ease

The 7250 bales of North Island wool on offer saw a 72% clearance with most types easing further.