Kiewa mys­tery buyer

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

MYS­TERY re­mains about the iden­tity of the com­pany set to pur­chase the Kiewa brand from Mur­ray Goul­burn Co-op­er­a­tive Co Lim­ited (MG).

MG made the an­nounce­ment ear­lier this week that “it has en­tered into agree­ments to sell the Kiewa Coun­try brand and cer­tain as­so­ci­ated as­sets to a lo­cal busi­ness that is ex­pected to recom­mence lo­cal man­u­fac­ture in the fu­ture” but has since re­fused to pro­vide any fur­ther de­tails.

Mayor of Indigo Shire Jenny O’Con­nor said the com­pany’s si­lence was cre­at­ing un­cer­tainty among the hun­dreds of work­ers, sup­pli­ers and lo­cal busi­nesses at the worst pos­si­ble time.

“We don’t know if it means more jobs or whether MG is just sell­ing the brand,” Cr O’Con­nor said.

“It’s rais­ing peo­ple’s hopes at time when they are at their most vul­ner­a­ble.”

Cr O’Con­nor said MG’s vir­tual si­lence had pro­duced a loss in con­fi­dence in the lo­cal dairy in­dus­try which was not a good thing.

“The com­mu­ni­ca­tion through- out this whole saga has been ter­ri­ble,” she said.

“They’re not lis­ten­ing, or not un­der­stand­ing.

“They could put the Kiewa brand on any­thing; it might not even be us­ing milk from the Kiewa area.

“This is a unique dairy pro­duc­ing area and there are peo­ple who be­lieve there is an op­por­tu­nity here if we can get MG to ne­go­ti­ate with them.”

MG also an­nounced its fore­cast milk in­take for this sea­son was 2.3 bil­lion litres, 200 mil­lion litres lower than pre­vi­ously fore­cast, but said the re­duc­tion would not im­pact the open­ing av­er­age avail­able South­ern Milk Re­gion far­m­gate milk price (FMP1) of $5.20/kilo­gram milk solids (kg MS).

How­ever, it added that if the re­cent strength­en­ing of the Aus­tralian dol­lar was to con­tinue over the full fi­nan­cial year, “this could cre­ate some un­cer­tainty in re­la­tion to the achiev­abil­ity of $5.50/kg MS.”

MG said it will pro­vide a fur­ther busi­ness up­date at the re­lease of full year re­sults on Au­gust 22, or ear­lier as re­quired.

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