Recently released Livestock Improvement Corporation half-year
results are reflective of positive growth and investment back
into the company, chief executive officer Wayne McNee says.
Speaking to Southern Rural Life at the Southern Field Days at
Waimumu, Mr McNee outlined investment in the company worth
about $30 million, a raft of new initiatives, and long-term
plans for LIC.
''We just released our interim results this week, with
revenue up but profit down. That's because we are making a
big investment back into the business,'' he said.
Apps for smartphones and updating the corporation's
databases, which required a ''big'' upgrade, were a part of
Mr McNee said further investment in breeding programmes and
developing farm automation systems were other key focus areas
A heat-detection camera was being released this year,
designed to help farmers identify when their cows were in
heat in order to inseminate them.
The product had been in development for the ''past few
years'', but LIC had not felt confident enough to release it
to the market before this year.
Most importantly, LIC was making its most important area of
focus listening to and providing what its farmers wanted, Mr
''We are a co-op - farmer-owned. Farmers want us to deliver
solutions for them. `How can we make life easy for a farmer'
- that's what we are focusing on.''
LIC was working through problems in the industry by
consulting farmers, and hoped to achieve its aims of
information-sharing by doing so.
One issue the company wanted to tackle was the
incompatibility of many different computer programs available
for farmers. The ability to share information between them
would streamline farming processes.
''It's about making life simpler - easy to say but proving
harder to do,'' Mr McNee said.
''Long term we are trying to be more collaborative with other
companies in the industry so that we can share information
and get products to work together.''
Key to the business operation was thinking about what
consumers would want in the future from dairy products,
including genetics providing for different, but
non-genetically engineered or modified, milk products.
Alongside that was the challenge of improving the
environmental efficiency of cows, and ensuring the maximum
conversion of feed to produce milk.
There were also plans to increase property and overseas
revenue, and become more export-focused, Mr McNee said.
- by Leith Huffadine