Kiewa mystery buyer
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.