7 November 2022
CASINO FOOD CO-OP ANNOUNCES RESULT AFTER A DIFFICULT YEAR
At its AGM held in Casino yesterday, Northern Co-operative Meat Company Ltd (The Co-op) announced a $7.911 million loss after income tax for the 2022 financial year.
Co-op Chairman, John Seccombe said “whilst the negative result can be attributed to reduced processing numbers through the Casino facility, the fundamentals of the business remain positive.”
“Not only has lower processing numbers increased per unit costs, inflationary pressure on inputs has also had a negative impact on profitability.”
“As if there were not enough issues, the February floods across the Northern Rivers caused enormous interruption to the Co-op business. Whilst no assets were directly impacted from the floods, access to site and employees displaced by flooded homes resulted in numerous lost production days at significant cost to the Co-op”, CEO Simon Stahl said.
“On a positive note, we were proud to be able to be at the forefront of the flood recovery effort. Our Casino plant was a centre point for the regional food drop response being coordinated by NSW police and the ADF. The carpark became a heli-pad. Emergency food packs, including meat from our cold store were distributed to those in need across the northern rivers.”
The Casino Food Co-op also coordinated and were able to resource employee volunteers and qualified tradesmen to help with the flood clean-up in Casino and surrounds.
By far the biggest impact on operations has been the unprecedented shortage of livestock.
“National slaughter numbers have been revised down to 6.15million in 2022, some 1.5m below long-term averages, which demonstrates the extreme shortage of livestock”, said Simon Stahl CEO.
With Australian kills now some 40% below long-term averages, the good news is restocking is building numbers and we expect 2023 harvest to improve markedly. The challenge for our Co-op and in fact the broader processing industry, is securing enough skilled labour to take advantage of increased supply when it finally happens, said Simon Stahl
Commitment to employing locals remains resolute, however in the meantime the Co-op continues to integrate PLS workers into their operations to underpin workforce recruitment.
“Our leadership program and improvement in diversity & culture remains a focus for our Co-op along with our employee assistance program, including Health & Wellbeing and the commencement of our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan” said Mr Stahl.
“During these times, we focus on the matters we can control and I’m proud of our employees commitment, as demonstrated by recent recognition at the Northern Rivers Business Awards” where the Co-op won Business of the year, Outstanding Business Leader, Excellence in Sustainability and Excellence in Diversity & inclusion.
Other awards throughout the year included:
- State Finalised in NSW Training Awards for “industry collaboration with TAFE NSW
- Best Safety Cultural Initiative Awards at AMPC Safety Awards
- 1st & 3rd Place at Boning Award Competition Meat-stock Toowoomba.
The meat-stock competition was a particular highlight for Mr Stahl. “It was an amazing opportunity for our “trades” to demonstrate their de-boning & slicing skills that many of the community don’t get to see,” said Mr Stahl
In board room news, John Seccombe and Neil Short were returned to the Board for a further 3-year term. As well, Robert Sinnamon was returned to the Board for a further 2 years.
John Seccombe was re-appointed Chairman.