Murray Goulburn boss Gary Helou.THE big Murray Goulburn (MG) co-operative has hit back at financial media reports it says have repeatedly misrepresented its performance and are based on misinformation.
Nanjing Night Net

Australia’s largest dairy business claims The Australian Financial Review’s Rear Window column has singled out the farmer-owned co-op on average once a month for the past seven months.

It said the Rear Window writers had not contacted MG to check relevant facts before publishing any of these columns.

In a column published this week allegations were made about the performance of MG’s Devondale branded products in supermarkets relative to its competitors, based on selective numbers and time periods that the cop-op argued created a particularly negative view.

An edited version of the story also appeared across the FarmOnline network.

MG has issued a statement to clarify facts discussed in the article.

“For the record, the actual fact is the 10-year agreement to supply Coles with private label milk in NSW and Victoria is farmgate price accretive,” the company statement said.

“It’s important to note that retailers set consumer retail prices, not manufacturers.

“In addition to MG’s 10-year agreement with Coles, Devondale cheese is stocked on Coles’ shelves for the first time in nine years.

“Sales of Devondale products in Coles are growing in all categories (cheese, spreads and milk) in both NSW and Victoria on a moving annual trend (MAT).

“Devondale ultra high temperature treated (UHT) flavoured milk varieties are driving category growth in Coles, with sales up significantly (MAT).

“Devondale chilled milk was launched for the first time, seven months ago in an established category dominated by private label brands.

“We are very satisfied with the progress of our new launch.”

The company noted that just eight days before the February 10 article appeared, the ‘Rear Window’ column claimed MG was paying its member farmers too much for their milk relative to its competitors.

“We are proud of the role MG plays as the leading dairy processor and co-operative of the Australian dairy industry,” the company said.

“We are proud of our capacity to maintain the $6 a kilogram farmgate milk price in the face of the recent collapse in global dairy prices.”

Last financial year MG handled approximately 3.4 billion litres or 37 per cent of Australia’s total milk production and generated sales revenue in excess of $2.9 billion.

It is Australia’s largest dairy food exporter.

The Victorian-based business, formed in 1950, is fully dairy farmer controlled, with more than 2500 farmer shareholders including a big new network of NSW suppliers where it recently opened up processing plant.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.