Shareholders who packed out the Alliance Group Ltd roadshow
meeting in Oamaru last week were told they are not getting a
Chairman Murray Taggart, an Oxford farmer who has taken over
since Owen Poole retired on September 30, said times had been
''tough for meat processors and exporters''.
The equity ratio and operating cash flow were good, but not
sufficient for a dividend.
The company had upgraded its system to avoid a repeat of the
recent market access problems, Mr Taggart said.
Incorrect labelling of meat sent to China meant 240 workers
were stood down from the Pukeuri plant from August 8 to
There was an improved outlook for the new season and Alliance
needed to maximise its returns to farmers, he said. Loyal
suppliers were shown preference, with advance payments that
applied to cattle and deer as well as lambs.
The company wanted lamb and some cattle for the
post-Christmas period, chief executive Grant Cuff said.
Stock free of antibiotics would receive a premium for
shipment to Canada, but that was only available to suppliers
in the loyalty programme.
Shorn sheep would get a premium in February and bellied would
get one in May.
After withstanding pressure to pay suppliers' transport
costs, Alliance would cover cartage from the start of
January, Mr Cuff said.
There would be ''a little bit of averaging'' across suppliers
to do so, ''but not much''.
''There are lots of companies out there. We offer more than
''We are owned by you. The livestock price is the bottom
line, not profit for private owners.''
The Alliance balance sheet was ''picking up strength again''
and overheads were being reduced. There were fewer chains
handling more stock, with turnover per person up 150% from
the early 1990s.
''The red meat industry has not failed. It has changed, as
the world has, as agriculture has. I believe the changes
we've made have been significant and successful.''