Thursday, 18 November 2021 07:55

Farmlands' year of transformation

Written by  Jessica Marshall
Farmlands chief operating officer Kevin Cooney. Farmlands chief operating officer Kevin Cooney.

Rural retailer Farmlands says it is undergoing a transformation period.

Chief operating officer Kevin Cooney, who was for a period in 2021 the co-operative’s acting chief executive (Peter Reidie left the position earlier this year, with Tanya Houghton taking up the role in September), says the transformation programme, nicknamed Braveheart, is a “big challenge” for the company.

Earlier this month, Farmlands released its annual results which saw the company make an $8.1 million profit on the back of $2.7 billion in gross turnover and $1.1 billion in revenue.

“It’s positive to have a profitable outcome, particularly when you consider that we are still transforming the business,” Cooney told Rural News.

The key aim of the transformation is to get back to having clarity in the core business and to deliver that clarity more effectively.

“It’s all about getting the right products at the right price to the right place or location for our customers,” he says. “That transformation is working, but while the foundations are in place, focus is needed.”

He adds that one of the biggest challenges for the company has been its effort to continue to be relevant in the face of big change.

“That’s about asking what role we play in that change and looking at our shareholders and asking how we support them.”

One of the biggest challenges for the company is sustainability. In 2019, Farmlands committed to integrating sustainability into its reporting and everything it does.

“At that time, we admitted that was going to be a three-to-four-year journey,” Cooney says.

He adds that Farmlands was already on that pathway and has since achieved Toitū carbonreduce certification.

“We also recognise that we have to hold ourselves to account.”

For the 2021 financial year, Cooney says, the company exceeded its goals for carbon reduction and is seeking to develop its sustainability goals further.

Farmlands chair Rob Hewett says Covid-19 has proved a disruptor for the business and will continue to be one for the foreseeable future.

“Our co-operative generally reacted well to supply chain issues caused by Covid-19 and managed stocks to ensure availability when the products were needed. We strive to continue to do this in these unprecedented times,” Hewett says.

He says the board is pleased with how the business has responded to Covid-19.

“In particular, I want to acknowledge the frontline staff that continue to go above and beyond to add value for our customers.”

“Next year, our cooperative turns sixty. It is a timely reminder that we have served, supplied and supported generations of Kiwi farmers and growers and their businesses,” Hewett adds.

“We were created to disrupt, compete and challenge. Our ambition is to continue to reinvent, to be relevant and to help our customers succeed.”

More like this

New CE settles in

Farmlands' new chief executive says that agriculture is the “heartbeat of New Zealand”.

'Work with us through Covid'

Farmlands new chief executive says she is going back to the basics for the short-term, which includes a focus on keeping employees safe and engaged through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gone Fishing

Late last year, Farmlands chief executive Peter Reidie announced he’d resigned to take on a new job heading up Sanfords – New Zealand’s largest fishing company.

National

FMD scare puts NZ on watch

A recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia has the NZ agriculture sector and its officials on…

Public round up on glyphosate

The country's environmental regulator agency has released the public feedback it has received on the glyphosate weed killer - commonly…

New bee Guy!

Former Agriculture Minister Nathan Guy will take over as the independent chair of Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ).

Machinery & Products

A new approach to apprenticeships

By taking a new approach to its apprenticeship programme, agricultural equipment supplier Norwood says it is ensuring farmers’ machinery will…

Buck-Rake does the job

With many self-propelled forage harvester manufacturers offering machines hitting 1000hp, the bottleneck in any harvesting system is always likely to…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Yeah, right!

OPINION: Your old mate reckons recent ‘research’ carried out by consultants PWC – claiming that ‘actively managed carbon forestry’ creates…

All Claas!

OPINION: Your canine crusader - like many in the sector probably would have - raised an eyebrow when he heard…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter