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MG’s demise guts farmers

FRIDAY’S announcement that Murray Goulburn could be sold to Canadian company Saputo has left local suppliers “gutted” and uncertain about the industry’s future.
The company told suppliers at its annual general meeting on Friday it had entered into an agreement to sell the company to Saputo for around $1.3 billion.
Buffalo MG supplier Peter Young attended the meeting and said he was devastated by the news the company would be sold.
“There were tears at the meeting. It is not just a factory, it is part of who we are. Not all farmers see it that way, but I grew up as MG and to see it fall away was very distressing,” he said.
Mr Young said that in the short term, the sale will help farmers financially but he feared the long term future of the industry could be in peril.
“The whole concept of a cooperative allowed farmers to put a price on what we create. Corporations pay the lowest price they can to get the milk they need,” he said.
“It does make me very concerned about where we are going and I have a lot less confidence in the industry now.
“We watched the Western Australian industry collapse after it lost its last co-op and we have seen collapse of the industry in England after its co-ops disappeared.
“We have seen it happen elsewhere, so I can’t see why it won’t happen here.”
Saputo already owns Warrnambool Cheese and Butter and under the agreement would acquire all of MG’s operating assets and operating liabilities.
The transaction is currently expected to be completed in the first half of 2018.
Leongatha South Murray Goulburn supplier Gordon Vagg attended MG’s AGM as well and said he left the meeting severely disappointed.
“We all came away absolutely gutted. We have lost an Australian icon and our one and only cooperative, we were so proud of it,” he said.
“I just only hope now there will be enough competition from the other milk companies to keep the prices fair for suppliers.”
Mr Vagg said he expected the sale to go through, with a vote of shareholders to be held.
“We haven’t got a choice, it is pretty much a done deal. If we go on another six months, things aren’t going to improve in that time for us,” he said.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23078

Posted by on Nov 1 2017. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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