This month our spotlight is on a client we have been having a lot to do with this year, Farmlands. Farmlands is New Zealand’s largest farmer owned rural supplies co-operative, which was formed by farmers for farmers over 55 years ago. Their aim in setting up the cooperative was that everyone should prosper, and that sentiment remains strong today. Farmlands is the largest buying group of its type in New Zealand, transacting more than 3.05 billion dollars' worth of business annually and is listed in the top 20 companies by turnover in New Zealand. This buying power helps reduce the input costs of more than 70,000 Farmlands shareholders nationwide.
In August 2021, Tanya Houghton was appointed as the new CEO for Farmlands and she has undertaken a transformative re-energisation of the business. In past years it had lost its spark and with a renewed focus on the foundations of the business, a renewed engagement in understanding the role retailing has to play in the day-to-day operations and a renewed commitment to the purpose, principles and values of what grounds, guides and makes Farmlands special and unique has had a massive impact.
If you talked to the senior leadership team at Farmlands they would be able to cite other critical initiatives they have focused on this year but the performance sums up the impact the renewed leadership and focus has had on this business - which is incredibly impressive.
Key Highlights – Financial Performance
It has been a massive 12 months at Te Whenua Taroa, Farmlands Co-operative Society Limited. With the collective support of the Farmlands whānau, team, customers, shareholders and suppliers, F22 saw Farmlands deliver over $94M in monthly rebates and an end of year profit distribution of $11.9m, the first in 4 years. The results’ bottom line is $17.1 million group net profit before tax and rebates, $51m group EBITDA, and $11.9m gross shareholder distribution, nearly double that of 2018, which was $6.2m.
Check out the group's first full digital annual report which you can watch, read and listen to.
Key Highlights – Cultural
Getting back to the heart of the business has seen the development of and launch of 'This is Us', the Group’s new Purpose, Principles and Values. In their words, 'This is Us' is about 'what grounds us', 'what guides us' and 'what makes us' as Farmlander’s and a Co-op. RX saw this come to life at the Group’s first annual Hui, which was held in Christchurch in July. We had the privilege of having our Managing Director, Juanita Neville-Te Rito, as a keynote speaker on the second day of the Hui to deliver a rousing reality check for all in the room. She said as a speaker you could feel the engagement, commitment and renewed energy of everyone which was a testament to the honesty and transparency that the leadership was delivering. Check out the Farmlands “This is Us” video that puts their DNA and heart out in the public domain.
Key Highlights – Retail
This one is still a bit of a WIP as we get closer to the official new store concept opening of Farmlands in Ashburton. The current supply chain challenges have delayed the finalisation of the project. But it is exciting. We will keep you updated with images of the new CX and how Farmland’s is engaging with the new face of rural and lifestyle farming.
A big shoutout to the Farmlands team for your consistent drive, vision and commitment to the people we work directly with: Tanya Houghton – Chief Operating Office, Jess Strange – Chief Customer Officer, Scott Brown – GM Strategy and Business Performance, Brook Bayliss-Brown – Head of Brand Experience, Mereana Kitto – Project Manager
Congratulations to the wide Farmlands whānau as we all know, it is the collective effort and commitment of everyone in the Group that makes an impact. Congratulations – and this is just the start! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏