SUNBIZ

Treat the Dairy Industry As A Business

The Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Limited (FCDCL) is a business and it has to be treated as business. These were the words of the FCDCL chairman Simon Cole during the
20 Dec 2017 10:10
Treat the Dairy Industry As A Business
Fiji Cooperative Dairy Limited Board Chairman Simon Cole

The Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Limited (FCDCL) is a business and it has to be treated as business.

These were the words of the FCDCL chairman Simon Cole during the dairy company’s annual general meeting yesterday in Nausori.

“Government wants agriculture to become more of a business,” Mr Cole said.

“It’s like, well, one of the basic concept of business is that it is profitable otherwise farmers won’t do it.

“This is a business and it has to be treated as business.

“This industry has a lot of potential and we need all the stakeholders in this industry to play their part so the industry can grow.

“The processors are profitable, FCDCL is profitable but the farmers are not profitable and until they’re profitable, how is this industry going to grow?”

Mr Cole noted it was a regular AGM, where they approved the annual accounts and elected the new directors for the company.

“The major issue raised by farmers was the fact that they are getting paid below the cost of production of their milk.

“They want to be treated as a business and have a fair chance of making this industry grow.

“They have had problems with Cyclone Winston, they have had problems with brucellosis, TB and many farmers are having to renew their leases this time.

“And they need a price so that they can invest in this business to make this business grow.”

He said another issue discussed at length by some shareholders present at the meeting was improving the efficiency of the company itself.

“They felt some of the overheads were too high and they wanted the new board to look into that and reduce the overhead costs.

“The accounts were put to a proper vote and they were approved at the meeting.

“These farmers are not making money in this business and they are looking for any ways that they can cut back money and so they take out some frustrations on the company.

“If they actually had a good business and if they were getting paid above the cost of production I think the industry would be much more comfortable with what’s going on.

“Formal votes are done by the shareholders so one was done for the accounts and the other was on the reduction in the amount of milk a farmer has to supply before becoming a shareholder.”

The votes for the accounts were approved and the vote for the reduction in the amount of milk was not approved.

“There was another vote where we continue to fight for cost of production price for $1.05 a litre but we are getting 95cents.”

Also present at the meeting was the Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Viam Pillay, who confirmed Government’s commitment to the dairy industry.

There was also an election of the company board of directors.

“All the board members were re-elected with a new board member Mangal Singh.”

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: