It's life Jim,  but not as we know it.

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   Keith Woodford Posts   

Keith Woodford is an independent consultant, based in New Zealand, who works internationally on agri-food systems and rural development projects. He holds honorary positions as Professor of Agri-Food Systems at Lincoln University, New Zealand, and as Senior Research Fellow at the Contemporary China Research Centre at Victoria University, Wellington.

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Directors Craig McMillan and Greg Terill have collectively over 40 years’ experience in the lining industry, and have been involved in installations throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific region.

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New Zealand Grazing is focused on reliably growing dairy heifers to the highest standard, our experience has been gained working alongside thousands of farmers around the country. We were selected by Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms to grow their young livestock.

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18 September 2020

 

Fonterra announces its Annual Results and a return to paying dividend

 

Annual Results Summary

  • Final cash payout for 2019/20 season: $7.19 per kgMS

    • Final 2019/20 Farmgate Milk Price: $7.14 per kgMS

    • 2019/20 dividend: 5 cents per share

  • Reported Profit After Tax: $659 million, up $1.3 billion

  • Normalised Profit After Tax[1]: $382 million, up $118 million

  • Total Group Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT): $1.1 billion, up $1.2 billion  

  • Total Group normalised EBIT: $879 million, up $67 million

  • Total Group normalised gross profit: $3.2 billion, up $200 million 

  • Total Group normalised operating expenses: $2.3 billion, down $14 million

  • Free cash flow: $1.8 billion, up $733 million

  • Net debt[2]: $4.7 billion, down $1.1 billion

  • Debt to EBITDA ratio: 3.4x improved from 4.4x

  • Full year normalised earnings per share: 24 cents

  • 2020/21 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range: $5.90 - $6.90 per kgMS. Mid-point of $6.40 per kgMS

  • 2020/21 forecast earnings: 20 – 35 cents per share

 

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today announced its annual results, final Farmgate Milk Price of $7.14 per kgMS and a dividend of 5 cents per share for the 2019/20 season, bringing the final cash payout for farmers to $7.19 per kgMS.

 

Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell says 2019/20 was a good year for the Co-op, with profit up, debt down and a strong milk price.

 

“We increased our profit after tax by more than $1 billion, reduced our debt by more than $1 billion and this has put us in a position to start paying dividends again,” he says.

 

“I’m proud of how farmers and employees have come together to deliver these strong results in a challenging environment. They have had to juggle the extra demands and stress of COVID-19 and have gone above and beyond. I would like to thank them for their hard work and support.

 

“This time last year we were announcing our new strategy and customer-led operating model. We were clear that to build a sustainable future we needed to focus on three interconnected goals – Healthy People, a Healthy Environment and a Healthy Business.

 

“We went on to deliver a strong performance for the first half. However, what none of us could have ever predicted was what then played out – a world facing COVID-19. The flow-on effects of the pandemic did impact our performance in the second half, particularly in our Consumer and Foodservice businesses.

 

“2019/20 proved to be a year of two halves, but we delivered on all four of our priorities:

  • We’ve supported regional New Zealand, contributing around $11 billion into New Zealand’s rural economies through the milk price, and we’ve rethought our approach to community support, with the aim of helping out more where it’s needed the most – such as, growing the KickStart Breakfast programme alongside Sanitarium and the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development and partnering with the New Zealand Food Network to help get dairy nutrition to those that need it the most.

  • We’ve built a great team through a focus on our culture, and we’ve seen that in action in how we’ve responded to COVID-19.

  • We’ve continued to reduce our environmental footprint, including hitting our 2020 target to reduce energy intensity across our New Zealand manufacturing sites by 20%, from a 2003 baseline – cumulatively, that’s enough energy saved to power all the households in New Zealand for 1.5 years. 

  • We’ve achieved our key financial targets with normalised earnings of 24 cents per share, a Total Group normalised gross profit of $3.2 billion, a $181 million reduction in capital expenditure and a $1.1 billion reduction in debt so the ratio of Debt to EBITDA has now improved to be 3.4 times our earnings, down from 4.4 times.

 

“The work we’ve done to strengthen our balance sheet has allowed us to focus on managing COVID-19. So far, demand for dairy has proved resilient and our diverse customer base and ability to change our product mix and move products between markets has meant we can continue to drive value.

 

“We’re at our best when we’re clear on what we need to do, why and how, and the whole Co-op is focused on it. When I look back on last year, it’s great to see how this clarity has helped us respond to challenges, adapt and deliver results.”

 

Business Performance

 

Total Group normalised EBIT was significantly up on last year from a loss of $17 million to earnings of $1.1 billion. This includes gains from asset sales, and impairments and costs relating to the strategic review.

 

Once these are taken out, the Total Group normalised EBIT, which the Co-operative uses to show its underlying business performance, was also up from $812 million to $879 million, despite the financial impact of COVID-19 in many of its markets.

 

Mr Hurrell says the main drivers of the underlying business performance was a strong normalised gross profit in the Ingredients business and, although there was the disruption from COVID-19, the strong sales and gross margins from the Greater China Foodservice business in the first half of the year.

 

Ingredients’ normalised EBIT improved from $790 million last year to $827 million this year, with normalised gross profit up $165 million to $1.6 billion.

 

Mr Hurrell says that at the Co-op’s interim results, the normalised gross profit in Ingredients was relatively steady.

 

“As we moved through the second half, we saw restaurants, cafes and bakeries close and intermittent spikes in supermarket sales, creating uncertainty across the global dairy market. This uncertainty resulted in softening milk prices, which helped improve the gross margin and gross profit in Ingredients.”

 

Greater China Foodservice’s normalised EBIT increased from $114 million last year to $169 million this year.

 

Mr Hurrell says the business achieved strong year-on-year sales growth in the first half of the year but was then hit hard by COVID-19 when many food outlets were closed. Normalised gross profit started to quickly rebound in the third quarter – although he also points out it is still not at 100%.

 

“We have seen significant growth across the Anchor Food Professional product range in China. We have entered 50 new cities across China, taking our total to 350, and our products are now not only being used in Western style restaurants and bakeries but also those serving local cuisine.

 

“However, as per our guidance in our third quarter business update, our Foodservice businesses across Asia, Oceania and Latin America were impacted by COVID-19 in the fourth quarter. All three markets reported losses in the second half.

 

“Despite this, normalised EBIT for Foodservice overall was up 14% on last year to $209 million, which is a result of the strong performance by the Greater China business in the first half.

 

The Consumer business’ normalised EBIT reduced to $149 million from $227 million, mainly as a result of impairments of $57 million relating to the Chesdale™ brand and New Zealand Consumer business’ goodwill.

 

Normalised EBIT, excluding these impairments, of the Consumer businesses in Oceania and Asia improved, despite COVID-19. However, due to civil unrest and market disruptions in Hong Kong and Chile, the normalised EBIT, after excluding these impairments, of the Consumer business declined 10%.

 

Mr Hurrell says our Australian Consumer business performed strongly with sales continuing to increase thanks to its popular beverage, spreads and cheese products.

 

“Our New Zealand Consumer business focused on improving customer service and keeping supermarket shelves well stocked, particularly as New Zealanders were stock piling through COVID-19.

 

“Despite the better performance this year, due to the economic outlook post-COVID-19, our New Zealand Consumer business’s future cashflow projections are lower than we estimated last year and, as a result, we have decided to write down its goodwill by $21 million. It now has a total value in our accounts of $699 million.”

 

Mr Hurrell says, in addition to the improved earnings performance, Fonterra has followed through on its commitment to financial discipline and this has increased the financial strength of the Co-op.

 

“Our cash flow has improved and our debt has reduced by 19% or $1.1 billion compared to last year. Increased earnings, reduced capex, as well as the sale of DFE Pharma and foodspring® for cash proceeds of $623 million in the first half of the year, have all contributed to this improvement.”

 

Dividend and Farmgate Milk Price for 2019/20

 

Fonterra announced a dividend for the 2020 Financial Year of 5 cents per share and final Farmgate Milk Price for the 2019/20 season of $7.14 per kgMS. 

 

Fonterra Chairman John Monaghan says for a 100% share backed farm, this gave them a final cash payout of $7.19 per kgMS.

“This year marks a return to paying dividends, a position we expect to maintain in the future, assuming normal operating conditions.

 

“At 5 cents per share, the dividend is at the lower end of the 5-7 cent range calculated under the Board’s dividend policy guidelines.

 

“In the context of so much uncertainty, as COVID-19 continues to impact our key markets and customer confidence, distributing a 5-cent dividend is a prudent decision and one that balances our aims of further reducing debt and distributing earnings.”

 

Outlook

 

Fonterra has announced a 2020/21 earnings guidance range of 20-35 cents per share and has also reaffirmed its 2020/21 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range of $5.90-$6.90 per kgMS.

 

Mr Monaghan says the impact of COVID-19 is still playing out globally.

 

“From a Milk Price perspective, the supply and demand picture remains finely balanced and for that reason we are maintaining our previous forecast range for this season.

 

“In terms of our earnings, we are forecasting a full year normalised earnings per share range of 20-35 cents per share.

 

“There continues to be significant uncertainties – including how the global recession and new waves of COVID-19 will impact demand globally, and what will happen to the price relativities between the products that determine our Milk Price and the rest of our product range. 

 

“As a result of these uncertainties and given that financial year has just begun, we are giving a forecast earnings range wider than we usually would.

 

“We will be monitoring the situation throughout the season and as the year progresses, we would expect the earnings range to narrow.

 

“The best way of coping with uncertainty is to stay on strategy and focus on what is within our control – delivering for our farmers, unit holders and customers, and maintaining our financial discipline.

 

“We need to stay agile and draw on our strengths across the supply chain to manage and adapt to the changing global situation.”

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RESULTS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2020 FONTERRA ELECTIONS

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Natalie Dyer (Communications Specialist) <Natalie.Dyer@fonterra.com>

Tue, Nov 3, 3:03 PM

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RESULTS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2020 FONTERRA ELECTIONS

 

Returning Officer Warwick Lampp, of electionz.com Ltd, has declared the final results of the 2020 elections for the Fonterra Board of Directors, Directors’ Remuneration Committee and Shareholders’ Council.

 

Shareholders voted to elect incumbent Director Brent Goldsack and new Director Cathy Quinn to the Fonterra Board.

 

Brent Goldsack

Brent has served on the Fonterra Board for three years, having been elected in November 2017. He is currently the Chair of the Co-operative Relations Committee, is a member of the Milk Price Panel, the Safety and Risk Committee, the Capital Structure Committee, the Divestment Review Committee, and the Disclosure Committee. In addition, he serves as the Fonterra representative on the 'Dairy Tomorrow' Steering Group – which focuses on the strategy for the dairy industry. Previously, Brent enjoyed a professional services career with PwC of more than 20 years as a tax and financial advisor. He advised many New Zealand companies operating in the primary and export led sectors and led PwC New Zealand’s ‘Behind the Farm Gate’ Agri strategy. He continues to advise large corporate farms, families, and Iwi, and holds several governance roles, including director of Rabobank and Chair of Waitomo Petroleum Group. He is married with two daughters and lives just outside of Hamilton. The family owns three dairy farms in the Waikato milking 1,500 cows and takes an active role in these businesses.

 

Cathy Quinn

Cathy is a professional director, having previously enjoyed a 30+year career as a commercial and corporate lawyer with MinterEllisonRuddWatts, and has significant expertise in governance, equity capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and private equity services. Amongst the numerous awards she has won, Cathy was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to law and women in 2016. Cathy grew up in rural New Zealand and spent summers on family farms in her youth. She is now a director and shareholder of Thistlehurst Dairy Limited, based in the Waikato. She has advised the dairy industry for many years in her capacity as a lawyer, including the Dairy Board, Fonterra, the Shareholders’ Council, and competitors of Fonterra. Cathy is now pursuing a full-time governance career, having stepped down from the MinterEllisonRuddWatts partnership at the end of 2019. She is a director of Tourism Holdings, Fletcher Building, Rangatira, a board member of New Zealand Treasury and the New Zealand China Council, and Chair of Fertility Associates. Cathy lives in Auckland and has two teenage sons.

 

Shareholders John Gregan and Glenn Holmes were elected unopposed to the Directors’ Remuneration Committee.

 

In the Shareholders’ Council elections, the following two Shareholders’ Councillors were elected:

 

Ward 4 – Waikato West                      Grant Coombes

Ward 6 – Piako                                   Nacre Maiden

 

Both Grant Coombes and Nacre Maiden are new Shareholders’ Councillors.

 

In the four other Shareholders’ Council wards where elections were due, nominees were elected unopposed. The Councillors in those wards are:

 

Ward 3 – Southern Northland              Greg McCracken

Ward 12 – Central Plateau                  Kylie Leonard

Ward 18 – Wairarapa                           John Stevenson

Ward 24 – Eastern Southland              Don Moore

 

Kylie Leonard and Don Moore are new Shareholders’ Councillors.

 

All successful candidates will take office at the close of the Annual Meeting on Thursday, 5th November 2020.

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Fonterra’s latest Sustainability Report shows most encouraging progress to date

 

Fonterra has achieved its most encouraging sustainability results since starting its annual reporting four years ago, but the Co-op is staying focused on what still needs to be done to reach its long-term targets.

 

“The progress we’ve made this year towards our three interconnected goals of healthy people, a healthy environment and a healthy business show that our strategy and customer-led operating model are delivering,” says CEO Miles Hurrell, following the release of Fonterra’s 2020 Sustainability Report today.

 

“We’re proud of what our people have achieved, especially in the face of COVID-19, and want to thank farmers and employees for their support and hard work.”

 

The report shows that Fonterra improved all three of its core environmental metrics around greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water use and solid waste to landfill for the first time since launching its first stand-alone Sustainability Report in 2017, as well as lifting its financial performance and continuing to support communities.

 

Among other highlights in the report, Fonterra has become the first dairy company in New Zealand to have its emission reduction targets endorsed by the UN-backed Science Based Target initiative. This means that the Co-op’s 2030 target of 30% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, which are the emissions it directly creates and those from the energy it uses, has been approved as being in line with what the latest climate science says is needed to limit global warming to well below 2°C.

 

“We take the best of what New Zealand has to offer to consumers around the world through the unique quality of our milk, so of course we want to play our part in helping the country meet its climate commitments,” says Hurrell.

 

“Our farmer owners have a carbon footprint of about one third of the world average, and we’re continuing to support them to adapt to change. Setting science-based targets is important and so is the concrete action we’re taking today – like providing farmers with farm-specific emissions profiles, which will help them identify opportunities for improvements, and switching our Te Awamutu site to wood pellets, which will reduce our coal use by almost 10%.”

 

Increasing the energy efficiency of existing assets is also key. This year, the Co-op hit its longest running target of 20% reduction in energy intensity across its New Zealand manufacturing sites between 2003 and 2020, which is enough energy saved to power all the households in Aotearoa for 1.5 years. As part of the plan to reach a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030, and ultimately net zero emissions by 2050, Fonterra is developing site-specific ‘Greenprints’ that outline the roadmap to decarbonisation.

 

The report also highlights areas for improvement including the need to achieve better gender and ethnic diversity at leadership level and accelerate progress towards key 2025 targets such as having 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging.

Global Sustainability Director Carolyn Mortland says the Sustainability Advisory Panel provides a valuable external lens as Fonterra works towards these goals.

 

“Our Co-op’s focus is on adopting regenerative principles across the business so that we’re restoring and replenishing rather than just protecting and conserving. This will take time, and we can’t do it alone, but we need to get it right to ensure a better future for our business, people, animals, natural resources and taonga,” says Mortland.

 

Read the full 2020 Sustainability Report at www.fonterra.com/sustainability

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     Fonterra to pay farmers more for sustainable, high value milk

 

Fonterra farmers producing sustainable, high quality milk will be eligible for a new payment, as Fonterra announces important changes to the way it pays farmers for their milk.

 

From 1 June 2021, Fonterra is introducing a Co-operative Difference Payment of up to 10 cents per kilogram of milk solids (kgMS) if the farm meets the Co-op’s on-farm sustainability and value targets. It’s part of the Co-op’s strategy to add value to New Zealand milk and responds to increasing demand from customers here and around the world for sustainably-produced dairy. The payment will be funded out of the Farmgate Milk Price.

 

“The total Farmgate Milk Price will remain the same across the Co-operative, but the amount that each individual farm is paid will vary depending on their contribution under The Co-operative Difference, in addition to the other variables, like fat and protein, which affect the amount that’s paid,” says Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell.

 

“We’ve always paid our farmers based on the value that milk provides to the Co-operative. The reality is that the drivers of value are changing, and we need to reflect that. Our customers want to know that the products they are buying are not only safe, but also produced sustainably.

 

“This payment helps us meet the changing needs of our customers, so they continue to choose our milk and enjoy dairy as a sustainable and nutritious choice.

 

“We want to deliver the innovation, sustainability and efficiency needed to make the most difference to our strategy and our bottom line. It makes sense to financially reward those farmers who go the extra mile to help our Co-op differentiate its milk.”

 

Last year Fonterra launched The Co-operative Difference – a straight-forward framework to help farmers produce high-quality, sustainable milk and prepare for any changes needed in the future.

 

The payment will replace the Farm Source Reward Dollars farmers currently earn through The Co-operative Difference and will work on a tiered system. The more a farmer achieves in The Co-operative Difference programme, the higher the payment will be. The precise payment structure will be confirmed over the next few months following discussions with farmers but will be no more than 10 cents per kgMS.

 

Nestlé’s Robert Erhard says, “At Nestlé how milk is produced matters. Now more than ever, people expect farmers to act as good stewards of the land – safeguarding the climate, enhancing animal welfare and carefully managing water and the health of soils.”

 

“Farmers put in a lot of effort to produce the best quality milk possible. Over recent years, large numbers of farmers have spent a significant amount of time and money to improve their local environment and waterways to make their farms sustainable for the future. It’s great to see these farmers distinguished and rewarded for their efforts to produce and deliver a product that Fonterra can capture the highest value from. Through The Co-operative Difference, we can get better, together,” says Northland dairy farmer Terence Brocx.

 

“We’ve created this with our Co-operative principles in mind. All farmers can participate in The Co-operative Difference and we’ll keep supporting them through Farm Source,” says Mr Hurrell.

 

“We want farmers looking to the future, and The Co-operative Difference encourages them to continue to focus on the things that will create the highest value milk. This helps us create higher value products that stand out in the global market for their New Zealand-ness and the sustainable way they’re produced.”

 

Key details:

  • Introducing The Co-operative Difference payment for farms that meet Fonterra’s The Co-operative Difference targets, including on-farm sustainability and milk quality targets.

  • Effective from next season, from 1 June 2021.

  • Current Farm Source Rewards Dollars in The Co-operative Difference will be replaced with a c/kgMS payment.

  • The amount and targets will be set annually by the Fonterra Board.

  • The payment will work on a tiered achievement system. The more a farmer completes in The Co-operative Difference, the higher the payment they’ll receive.

  • The payment won’t be more than 10 cents per kgMS for the first season commencing 1 June 2021. Fonterra will work with farmers on the framework over the next few months to achieve the right balance.

  • The total amount available to be paid to farmers does not change, but a proportion of the Farmgate Milk Price will be available to be redistributed between farmers to better reflect the value of the milk from individual farms.

  • Based on achievement under The Co-operative Difference framework.

  • It will be a simple and low cost approach but with robust and straight-forward verification.

Forestry Training

DCANZ welcomes launch of UK-New Zealand FTA negotiation

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) is welcoming the launch of free trade agreement negotiations between New Zealand and the UK as a positive development in the trade agenda. 

 “A high-quality and comprehensive FTA between the UK and New Zealand will further strengthen the historic and close relationship between our two countries” says DCANZ Chairman Malcolm Bailey

“At this time, when we are seeing a number of countries revert to trade protectionist policies and subsidies, it is heartening to see like-minded countries like New Zealand and the UK showing leadership on trade issues”.

Currently, the UK is only a small market for New Zealand dairy exports, accounting for 0.08% of New Zealand’s dairy exports in 2019.  This is despite the fact that the UK is one of the world’s largest importers of dairy products.

“The UK’s previous membership of the European Union (EU), one of the most protected dairy markets globally, has severely limited the opportunity for its consumers to purchase high quality New Zealand dairy products.  Now that the UK is able to negotiate its own trade arrangements, a UK-NZ FTA will provide important commercial opportunities for dairy sector participants in both countries”.

The New Zealand and the UK dairy sectors are complementary, with counter-seasonal production systems and a shared interest in managing price volatility globally.  Both countries also place a high level of importance on food safety, animal welfare and environmental outcomes.   The UK dairy industry is also efficient, with a long-history of competing against highly subsidised dairy exports from across the EU.

“An FTA between the UK and New Zealand will ensure that unsubsidised New Zealand dairy products have the same level of market access as has been enjoyed by European dairy products over the past four decades”.

A high-quality FTA between the UK and New Zealand will be an important pathway for the UK, should it wish to join the wider Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“This is also an opportunity for NZ and the UK to demonstrate that not only can a high-quality FTA be negotiated in the current environment, but that it can be negotiated quickly and to the mutual benefit of both Parties” says Bailey.

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Machinery & Music 

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