Norco Co-operative Limited (“Norco”) welcomed Ben White to the business on 24 October 2017 as Chief Executive Officer after the Board of Directors completed their recruitment process.
Chairman Greg McNamara believes that Ben’s diverse set of skills and experience will be an excellent fit with the Norco business model, saying:“There are many exciting opportunities for Norco in the future and we look forward to Ben leading management and staff through this next exciting phase in our long and proud history.Ben brings to Norco a wide-ranging career in livestock, food, agribusiness and agriculture across Australia and South-East Asia.”
Mr McNamara added: “Ben has particularly strong leadership skills through the ability to create, develop and enable teams of people to achieve beyond their best, by enhancing their skills and passion for the business they work in. Ben has already demonstrated that he will be leading from the front and will be actively engaging with Norco’s Members / Milk Suppliers, Board, staff and customers.”
Ben is originally from the NSW Riverina growing wool, meat, wheat, barley and horses on the family farm. He is a passionate advocate for Australian farmers and their ability to directly seize opportunities through integrated value chains, so that returns can be maximised for the people who dedicate themselves to creating food, fibre and beverage products of excellence. He also keenly supports the view that younger people must be able to have meaningful and prosperous careers within Australia’s greatest industry.
Ben is very proud to have been asked to lead Norco, a 100% farmer owned, Australian dairy co-operative, saying: “It is an honour to have been given this opportunity to lead this iconic co-operative through our next stage of profitable and sustainable growth. In just two weeks I have already learnt so much about this diverse agricultural co-operative and I look forward to working with the Norco team on strategies that will take Norco from good to great!
There is so much happening in the dairy industry at the present time and it is crucial that Norco is well placed to take advantage of any opportunities that are identified in the short, medium and long term.”
Financial result for 2016/17
Leading up to the 2017 Annual General Meeting to be held in Toowoomba on 15 November, Norco Co-operative Limited Chairman, Greg McNamara, is pleased to be able to report that the Co-operative has achieved a solid set of financial results for 2016/17. Norco’s diversified business model, geographical positioning, quality of product and strong long-term relationships have again been significant drivers in achieving these financial results.
Mr McNamara said: “We have finished the 2016/17 financial year with an EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) of $8.859 million and a Net Profit of $1.122 million. This is after having been able to retain our total average farm gate price for our Northern Region supply as well as maintain the previously communicated position for our Southern Region milk supply.
We are absolutely focused on consistently demonstrating that a farmer owned co-operative model with solid strategy, direction, management and performance can continue to prosper.”
Highlights achieved by Norco in the 2016/17 financial year included:
- Record total sales of $555.6 million, up 2.7 percent on the previous year.
- Record Member milk supply volume of 221.8 million litres.
- Record Total Average Member Return (TAMR) of 58.18 cents per litre, up from 58.06 cents per litre on the previous year (TAMR consists of milk pay, dividends and Suppliers’ Patronage Scheme rewards).
- Norco branded milk sales increased by 34.6 percent over the previous year.
Mr McNamara added: “Our diversified business model, geographical positioning, quality of product and strong long term relationships have again been significant drivers in achieving these financial results. Our unique proposition in the market place as a true co-operative owned by Australian farmers continues to resonate with a growing consumer base.
The Board and management team are closely aligned on growing our geographic footprint beyond our traditional areas in the Norco Foods business. This strategy will have far reaching benefits, including creating efficiencies in our manufacturing facilities and opportunities for our Members to grow their milk supply with stable milk prices. The profitability of our Rural Retail / Agri business unit also plays a key role in our diversified business model, helping to safeguard both overall business profitability and Member profitability.”
Mr McNamara also acknowledged Norco’s former Chief Executive Officer, Mr Brett Kelly, who resigned on 29 September 2017, as playing a key role in achieving these results: “Brett has been instrumental in the Co-operative posting excellent results in recent years as well as playing a pivotal role in Norco gaining access to new markets both domestically and internationally. I would like to thank Brett very much for his significant contribution over a period of more than nine years.”
At the 2017 Annual General Meeting Members will be asked to approve a 6.0 percent dividend on paid up capital held as at 30 June 2017 based on the profit result for 2016/17. The retiring Directors for the Northern and Central Regions, being Mr Heath Hoffman and Mr Greg McNamara respectively who were eligible for re-election, will be declared re-elected at the meeting. Members will also be formally introduced to Norco’s new Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ben White at the meeting.