MURRAY Goulburn Director, Kelvin Jackson of Hazel Park near Toora had a tough gig at the South Gippsland Dairy Expo last Thursday.
With MG hosting the traditional breakfast on Thursday morning with Reid Stockfeeds, it’s customary for a speaker from Murray Goulburn to offer some remarks about the season ahead and the issues on the big co-op’s plate.
But oh dear, with so many issues swirling around at the moment for MG it was always going to be a tough ask for Mr Jackson, a relatively new director on the board.
But he stepped up and delivered in commendable style not shirking the issue of outside interest in the firm but successfully batting that away to focus on the day-to-day operations.
“It’s been a challenging last 12 months for MG,” he said, quickly acknowledging it as an understatement.
“The on-going milk supply loss is the single biggest impediment to our business.”
He also noted that MG was trying to get its product mix right to get the best out of export markets but admitted the firm was stuck with some lower-paying processes at the moment.
Butter prices are high, he said but the value of the by-product, Skim Milk Powder was low.
“We’re working hard to get MG back on track,” he continued saying that the new CEO Ari Mervis had already ushered in significant efficiencies.
He acknowledged that the interest in the firm was well documented but MG was presently considering all options including staying as is, moving to a sale of assets, seeking a capital injection, partners or the sale of the business in its entirety.
Suppliers and shareholders would be updated, he said, at the annual general meeting on Friday, October 27.
There was no time for questions, although Mr Jackson did hang around chatting with interested individuals.
The South Gippsland Dairy Expo breakfast also heard from Peter Crone an economist from Coles who also spoke about his earlier work for the Howard Government.
Chris Schreurs of the Schreurs and Sons vegetable growing business spoke about developments for his firm, all of which are good news for their expansion into South Gippsland.