No guar­an­tees for re­main­ing fac­to­ries

Dairy News Australia - - NEWS - VIVI­ENNE DUCK

THE FATE of fur­ther Mur­ray Goul­burn fac­to­ries clos­ing is up in the air as the com­pany tries to op­ti­mise fac­tory ef­fi­cien­cies in the face of an ex­o­dus of milk sup­pli­ers. The com­pany re­ported a 21 per cent re­duc­tion in milk in­take last fi­nan­cial year. In a pre­pared state­ment, fol­low­ing sup­plier meet­ings at key ar­eas in­clud­ing Rochester, the com­pany said they haven’t made any de­ci­sions. “We haven’t made any de­ci­sions, or come to any con­clu­sions, re­gard­ing any of our fac­to­ries,” the state­ment said. “We do not in­tend to moth­ball as­sets for the sake of it and will be look­ing at ev­ery­thing on a com­mer­cial ba­sis.” Fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of the clo­sure of the sites at Rochester, Edith Creek and Kiewa, the co-op’s per­for­mance has re­mained “be­low ex­pec­ta­tions”. “We are un­der­tak­ing a strate­gic re­view of MG’s strat­egy and cor­po­rate struc­ture as a fun­da­men­tal next step to strengthen the busi­ness for the fu­ture,” the state­ment said. “In ad­di­tion to the in­tended clo­sure of three pro­cess­ing sites, we have a busi­ness im­prove­ment pro­gram un­der way to op­ti­mise ef­fi­ciency across MG’s cost base rel­a­tive to milk in­take. “De­spite the loss of milk, MG re­mains one of Aus­tralia’s largest dairy pro­ces­sors and has a lead- ing dairy foods busi­ness with good mar­ket share in key dairy cat­e­gories both do­mes­ti­cally and in a num­ber of in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. “Scale is not an end in it­self — there are nu­mer­ous small pro­ces­sors which are very prof­itable.” The com­pany said they are not fo­cused on the size of MG, but their ef­fi­ciency and vi­a­bil­ity. “You can be a small, ef­fi­cient pro­ces­sor and you can de­liver very good farm gate milk prices to your sup­pli­ers, you can also be large and in­ef­fi­cient,” the state­ment said. “We are work­ing with our com­mer­cial part­ners to min­imise the im­pact of lower milk in­take. “MG will dis­con­tinue a num­ber of low re­turn­ing prod­uct lines as a re­sult of the in­tended staged clo­sure of three pro­cess­ing sites.”

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