1 Oct 2014

Tatua makes record payment

2:50 pm on 1 October 2014

The country's smallest dairy co-operative, Tatua in Waikato, has delivered its farmers the biggest milk payout again.

It is paying its 109 suppliers a record $9 a kilogram of milk solids for the past season.

That compares with Fonterra's final payout of $8.40 plus a 10 cent dividend.

Tatua is also retaining a $1.32 per kilo from its total earnings for the year of more than $136 million, or $10.32 per kilo.

It consistently tops the payout tree because of the mix of value-added speciality food products and bulk dairy ingredients such as caseins and anhydrous milk fat that it produces.

Tatua chief executive Paul McGilvary said it has been a record-setting year on several levels.

"We believe it's a record for New Zealand. We also had record milk supply from our own suppliers and we had record milk quality so to achieve the trifecta, if you like in our hundredth year of operation is something that makes us very proud."

But like all dairy companies, Tatua has significantly lowered its forecast payout for the current season, in response to the fall in global dairy prices.

"We're holding reasonably steady at $6.50. We're certainly feeling some impact from the weaker market on that, but that's being offset by the better exchange rate."

Mr McGilvary said the money Tatua is keeping back from last season's earnings will help to keep the balance sheet strong while it builds a new specialised milk powder dryer at its processing site on the Hauraki Plains, to produce formula ingredients for geriatric and sports foods.

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