Norco, which had sales of almost $560m last financial year, draws milk from 215 suppliers in South East Queensland and the NSW North Coast where it also has milk plants at Lismore, Raleigh, and
It has 29 rural supplies stores spread between Bundaberg in Queensland and the Hunter Valley.
While Mr McNamara was not predicting what would wash up after Saputo’s buyout of nine MG processing assets and many brands, past experience suggested big dairy takeovers were invariably followed by, at least, some asset divestments or rationalisation.
The export market, and more of a national presence, are areas we’d like to direct more attention to.
“If something falls out of the MG portfolio which might be interesting to us, we’ll certainly take a look at the possibilities,” he said.
“We’re doing quite well as a business – with profits around the $1.5m a year – but we do tend to be a bit far away from a lot of dairy activity in Australia.”
That regional isolation did, however, have some advantages, including being somewhat insulated from “the chaos” which hit many processors and producers in recent years as international milk prices spiked then crashed, leading to last year’s southern farmgate milk price collapse, and the unravelling of farmer loyalty to milk companies, most notably MG.
I’m seriously very strong about making the co-operative concept a branding advantage for us.
“The hard work and culture that have built this co-op and generated a brand which really resonates with consumers and are great strengths to build on,” he said
“I’m seriously very strong about making the co-operative concept a branding advantage for us.
“It’s an honour to have the opportunity to lead this iconic co-op through our next stage of profitable and sustainable growth.”
New CEO’s CV
Originally from a family farming background in the NSW’s western Riverina, he has lived in Victoria for the past 15 years, most recently was involved in a milk-fed beef venture raising and marketing Holstein veal for Singaporean, Japanese and domestic
The venture recently sold to Central Agri Group, which owns the Trafalgar abattoir.
Mr White previously worked at government level with South East Asian companies investing in Australia and sourcing produce ranging from truffles to meat and wine.
“I’ve got a lot of friends and contacts in the dairy industry, and have known quite a bit about Norco for a while,” he said.