JESSICA HAYES Farm Weekly 19 Jun, 2013
WA’s largest dairy farming conglomerate Lactanz Dairy has gone into receivership.
Embattled owners of the company failed to sell the property and after its removal from the market in May this year, Ferrier Hodgson was appointed receivers as of June 5.
Lactanz Dairy is the single largest supplier to Brownes and comprises four Scott River properties and a milking herd of 4000.
Contracts between Lactanz and Brownes mean current arrangements will prevail for the next five years.
Ferrier Hodgson receiver Martin Jones said the company was in the process of working through Lactanz Dairy’s finances, and was looking at various options in relation to operations.
“We are trying to stabilise the financial aspects of it and then look at how we will deal with it and develop a realisation strategy,” Mr Jones said.
“We need to get a solid platform first and then we will go from there.”
Regarding the contract with Brownes, which has complicated the sale of the property, Mr Jones said Ferrier Hodgson was working with the processor.
“We understand the issues involved and we think they are capable of being dealt with,” he said.
“It doesn’t over-complicate the situation and Brownes has been positive and helpful in these early stages.”
Brownes managing director Ben Purcell said it was working closely with the receivers and share-milkers to ensure the best possible outcome for all parties involved.
“We are hopeful this can be achieved,” Mr Purcell said.
“If anything, this outcome with Lactanz reinforces the need to remain focused on ensuring the longevity and sustainability of the WA dairy industry, which is still facing considerable challenges.”
Mr Purcell said dairy farming in WA must be given every chance to have a secure future.
“Brownes is committed to getting a fair price from the market and returning a fair price to our farmers,” he said.
“We have led the industry in the last two increases, achieving an 11 per cent increase to our farmers from July 2012 to the currently announced price for the forthcoming year.”
Mr Purcell said now, more than ever, it was vital that WA consumers chose WA dairy products.
He said Brownes did not expect any disruption to the milk supply as a result of Lactanz going into receivership.