Murray King, Chairman of Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), collected the 2019 Co-operative Business of the Year award on behalf of the Waikato-based, dairy farmer-owned co-op. The DNA of New Zealand’s dairy industry, LIC was recognised for world-leading biosecurity protection in the face of Mycoplasma bovis, among many other achievements.
Cooperative Business NZ CEO Craig Presland said,
“The co-op business model is part of our nation’s DNA so it’s appropriate
that LIC has won this year’s Co-operative Business of the Year.”
Craig believes LIC tells, arguably, the greatest success story amongst New Zealand’s co-operatives in the last 18 months
“LIC is the DNA of New Zealand’s dairy industry, providing farmers with superior genetics since 1909 and world-leading agri-tech solutions to continually improve the productivity and profitability of their farms.
“Farmers are being tested today like never before. Increased compliance regulations, new emissions requirements to meet and technology advancing at the speed of light are just some of the contributors to a litany of challenges. Helping farmers meet those challenges head-on is LIC, a high-performing co-operative which exemplifies co-operative values and highlights the strengths of the model.
“There is no better display of the Rochdale co-operative principles of ‘Concern for Community’ and ‘Education, Training and Information’ than the actions of LIC when Mycoplasma bovis was confirmed in the NZ dairy herd in July 2017. LIC took leadership in biosecurity protocol, well aware that the NZ dairy industry depended on its actions. It supported its shareholders through effective education, training and best practice biosecurity protocol, helping protect their animals and livelihoods, which in turn protected the reputation and value of the NZ dairy industry.
“Dairy farmers need certainty and trusted partners to help them navigate the rapidly changing domestic and global industry. They have to make sure that in the data-driven future of global dairy, LIC and its farmers are in a position to be the disruptors, not the disrupted. That takes financial strength, high performance and a clear focus on the innovations to keep their farmers ahead of the game,” said Craig.
LIC delivered three main benefits to its members and communities in 2018-19:
· products and services that improve on-farm productivity & prosperity;
· world-leading biosecurity protection in the face of M. bovis; and
· returns of $15.6 million by way of dividends to shareholders – the largest dividend paid out since 2013.
- The other finalist in this category was Ravensdown.