Thursday, 14 October 2021 07:55

Editorial: Follow the leader

Written by  Staff Reporters
For a small milk processor, Tatua has been punching above its weight for many years For a small milk processor, Tatua has been punching above its weight for many years

OPINION: For a small milk processor, Tatua has been punching above its weight for many years.

Every year, towards the end of September the co-operative comes out with its annual results.

And every year it receives applause for showing the rest of New Zealand processors, including the world's sixth largest milk dairy company Fonterra, a clean pair of heels when it comes to the final milk price for the previous season.

This year has been no exception. On September 30th, the Tatua board met to finalise its accounts for 2020-21 season. And, as is the tradition, Tatua chair Steve Allen and his board members then rang each shareholder to relay the good news.

The numbers are impressive. Tatua had a good year despite challenges posed by the pandemic. Group income topped $395 million, with earnings available for payout of $162 million, equating to a record $10.43/kgMS, before retentions for reinvestment and taxation. This was an improvement on the previous year earnings of $9.96/kgMS.

Tatua's 107 supplying farms recorded their second highest milk production season - supplying 15.65 million kgMS, 3.3% ahead of the previous year. Tatua confirmed a cash payout of $9.25/kgMS, $1.50 more than what Fonterra paid its milk suppliers last season.

Tatua's mission is simple: it's happy to be a niche player turning its small pool of milk into high quality products, for both export and the local market.

This has delivered great results for Tatua, year-in, year-out.

In recent years, Fonterra has been transitioning to a similar strategy; its overseas milk pools are being flogged off and attention is turning to adding value to NZ milk.

Fonterra says it believes it has an opportunity to differentiate New Zealand milk further on the world stage, with the aim of getting more value from the co-op's milk.

To strengthen the value proposition of its New Zealand milk, the co-op is increasing investment in sustainability and R&D.

Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says the world wants what we've got - sustainably produced, high-quality, nutritious milk.

This is what Tatua has been doing since inception. Its website says, since 1914, they have been "developing and producing dairy products at Tatuanui, in the heart of New Zealand's largest dairying region - the Waikato. Out mild climate, rich soils and consistent rainfall create a perfect environment for growing grass".

It has proved to be winning formula for Tatua and there's no reason why it can't be the same for Fonterra.

More like this

$1b windfall for shareholders

Fonterra's plan to return $1 billion to shareholders in three years through the divestments of overseas milk pools is the right move, according to Waikato farmer Andrew McGiven.

Tatua smashes $10 barrier

Waikato milk processor Tatua says keeping products moving to overseas customers during the pandemic was one of the highlights of its last financial year.


Why should we do more?

OPINION: Managing our dairy sector's impacts inevitably attracts a range of views. Should we do more, less or stay the…

Cattle sale with a difference

Innovation, loss and resilience have brought the Singh family to the point where it is poised to honour its patriarch,…

O'Connor's overseas odyssey

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor continued his overseas odyssey in the past week with multiple meetings in the US, Europe and…

Machinery & Products

Protective tint

Now available in New Zealand, Wildcat Static Cling Tint adds a protective layer to the windows of your tractor, harvester…

New owner for stoll

German company Stoll, the well-known manufacturer of tractor front loaders and attachments that claims to be the second largest producer…

Fert spreaders get a revamp

Kuhn has updated its MDS range of fertiliser spreaders, giving farmers more options to upgrade machines as situations change, rather…

Mowers spring into action

With spring upon us, thoughts turn towards shutting up paddocks for conservation and maybe the purchase of new machinery to…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Feeling the heat

US dairy farmers have a new threat to their business - heat waves.

Class action

The news has gone from bad to worse for a2 Milk - the company Synlait had hitched its wagon to.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter