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Silver Fern Farms Ltd is chasing the supply of quality livestock in a competitive market by launching a new shareholder benefits programme.
Chairman of the Dunedin meat processing co-operative and co-chairman of SFF Ltd, Rob Hewett, said the programme covered how the co-operative intended to distribute future dividends to all shareholders, plus additional benefits to shareholders who also supplied SFF Ltd.
"We believe there is significant long-term value to be gained for all shareholders by encouraging the supply of quality livestock to SFF and for suppliers to be shareholders."
A strong SFF with a stable and loyal livestock supply base was better able to grow value with customers in global markets he said.
The generation of value was of benefit to the co-operative as a sustainable profitable SFF returned dividends to the co-operative to distribute to shareholders.
Subject to annual board approval, the co-operative intended to make two annual distributions — a dividend distribution across all ordinary and rebate shares and a patronage reward distribution to qualifying livestock-supplying shareholders, Mr Hewett said.
A regulation distribution of a dividend, together with a patronage reward, would encourage further loyal supply over time and would generate demand for shares from non-shareholder suppliers and suppliers without enough shares.
SFF Ltd had already started to introduce preference on processing space, preferential access to valued added programmes, governance development and invitations to events like the farmer conference and international market trip, he said.
Those initiatives had been well received.
"Our primary focus is to maximise the value of our 50% ownership of SFF Ltd."
Chinese company Shanghai Maling owns the other 50%.
The co-operative had also launched a new website: www.silverfernfarms.coop.
Mr Hewett said the co-operative was the first New Zealand food co-operative to take up the internationally-recognised .coop domain name.
SFF Ltd, the operating company, would continue to have its own silverfernfarms.com website.