Farmlands Co-operative Society Limited was created more than 50 years ago by New Zealand’s farmers, who wanted to cut their costs by creating competition in the rural supplies market. Since those first meetings at community halls and pubs around the country in the early 1960s, Farmlands has grown into New Zealand’s largest farmer owner co-operative, offering a range of products and services through 83 stores nationwide.
The co-op was born from the desire of everyday farmers to work together to get themselves a better deal. Offering shareholders competitive pricing on everything from fuel to finance to fertiliser, Farmlands is an enduring co-operative success story and a top 20 NZ company.
Through its diverse business units – Card, Finance, Retail, Fuel, Lubricants, Grain and Seed, Nutrition, Real Estate, Livestock and Horticulture – Farmlands is a major player in the New Zealand rural sector with an annual turnover in excess of $2 billion.
Invercargill-born and bred, Peter brings both private and public sector experience to his relatively new role.
“The co-operative model really appeals to me,” he says.
“Having our customers as our shareholders drives an accountability and a performance and a closeness to our marketplace that’s very hard to replicate in other industries.
“One of the reasons I wanted to work for Farmlands is that we’re in the agricultural sector and New Zealand’s success rides and falls based on its performance. I want to be part of that.”
Peter is strong in his belief that Farmlands remains true to its co-operative principles, which have allowed the business to grow to encompass almost every aspect of New Zealand’s rural sector.
“It is about ‘deeds not words’ – and we need to demonstrate through what we do, rather than what we say,” he says.
“Today’s Farmlands is a wonderful experience – we really are fortunate to be working for this great co-operative. We are here to serve our shareholders and ensure they save money on the day-to-day costs of running their business. This drives our people and our business as a whole.”