Farmlands CEO Excited By Acquisition Of Animal Feed Company Seales Winslow

Farmlands CEO Excited By Acquisition Of Animal Feed Company Seales Winslow

Farmlands has recently been cleared by the Commerce Commission to buy the animal feed company, Seales Winslow. Farmlands CEO Tanya Houghton explains the significance of this acquisition, which aims to optimise mill assets and introduce innovative solutions to bolster farmer profitability. 

She underscores the imperative to rethink the model of farm inputs, asserting, "In order for our farmers to retain profitability and improve profitability over time, particularly at farmlands, our job has got to be to put deflationary pressure on input pricing." 

Houghton explains how the cooperative's mission aligns with driving down input costs without compromising on the quality and variety of products offered. 

Farmlands’ strategy includes streamlining product ranges and enhancing supply chain efficiencies, reducing inventory costs by approximately $30 million, and committing to maintaining the cooperative's focus on tight margins for farmer products. 

A key aspect of Farmlands' approach involves maintaining the balance between serving customers and respecting their role as shareholders. Houghton touches upon the importance of continuous dialogue to align the interests of shareholders and customers, particularly in the retail, pet, vet, and human health sectors. 

"I really love looking at business models and working out how they do a better job for the customer, and what I love here is that the customer is the shareholder most of the time."

Throughout the conversation, Houghton articulates a vision for the future of agriculture that is both innovative and rooted in cooperative principles. She emphasises the need for disruption and collaboration within the sector to enhance efficiency and drive down costs. With a background in retail, pet, vet, and human health, Houghton brings a fresh perspective to agricultural business models, focusing on customer-centric improvements that align with shareholder interests. 

Houghton expresses her passion for making a difference in New Zealand agriculture and her alignment with the cooperative values of Farmlands. She is eager to continue the conversation about the evolution of agriculture and the strategic shifts underway at Farmlands. 

"We are here to improve profitability and productivity for New Zealand farmers and growers and we're going to do that by driving into the pricing on input." 

Listen to the full chat between Tanya Houghton and Dominic George above.

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