Westland is owned by 400 dairy farming families, generations of whom have supplied top quality milk to the Hokitika-based co-operative since it was formed in 1937 in the dairying heartland of New Zealand’s west coast. space
The co-operative’s traditions date back almost 150 years with the formation of the Hokitika Dairy Company in 1868. During the days of horse and cart milk delivery, many co-ops were formed up and down the West Coast in the late 1800s and into the early 20th century.
Westland is rightly proud of its pioneering past and the values on which the co-op was formed: unity, dedication, loyalty and respect. New Zealand’s second largest dairy co-operative is keeping it as real today with the word “genuine” central to the Westland brand.
From the beginning, the co-operative has looked to the future, and recognised the importance of looking after the business for the next generation of farmer-shareholders and customers.
Rod Quin leads a team that is focused on building on eight decades of achievement.
“People, community and environment are the pillars that support Westland Milk Products. The energies we put into developing a sustainable business today ensure that we are well placed to grow into the future,” he says.
Westland’s recent move into more value-added production is proving itself to be the best strategy to ensure shareholders competitive and sustainable returns.
Rod Quin says Westland, like dairy companies globally, has been adversely impacted by lower market prices in the last season, however there is room for cautious optimism for an improvement with the current market showing signs of increasing demand and price recovery.
“Westland, in line with our strategic objective of providing competitive and sustainable returns to shareholders, continues to focus on a nutritional and value-add growth strategy. The key contributors to our pay-out are the prices for skim milk powder, casein and butter, with a growing contribution from infant and toddler nutrition.”
Being innovative is central to the co-op’s approach to sustainability, and is integrated at every stage including state-of-the-art facilities.
“The Westland Innovation Centre is located right alongside our production plant, providing the ultimate level of teamwork for our production team and scientists.”
The co-operative proudly profiles its members online, including the Monk family who have found multi-generational success in dairying. Fourth-generation dairy farmers Neville and Catherine Monk farm near Kokatahi on the west coast, with Neville’s great-grandfather having managed the local dairy factory in his day.
Rod Quin says with over 400 farms providing milk for Westland, the farmer shareholders form an integral part of their local communities.
“Our communities look to our farmers to provide environmental leadership, and our milk supply team closely supports them,” he says.
In a quintessentially co-operative manner, Westland and its dairy farmer members played a pivotal role in ensuring Lake Brunner achieved improved water quality targets five years ahead of schedule. Westland Chairman Matt O’Regan (right) is pictured with Environment Minister Nick Smith (left) and West Coast Regional Council Chairman Andrew Robb on the shores of the west coast’s largest lake. Read more.
Westland is a proud member of Cooperative Business NZ and the co-op’s contribution to the business sector since 1937 was officially recognised in 2014. CBNZ Chair Jonathan Lee, left, presented Westland General Counsel Catherine Walker with a long service award at the Annual General Meeting of CBNZ held that year in Auckland.