Meat works so well for healthy shares

By NERIDA BLOK

IT'S been a good year for Casino's Northern Co-operative Meatworks Company (NCMC), according to chairman Peter Carlill.

At the co-operative's annual general meeting held in Casino yesterday, Mr Carlill announced a before tax profit of $2.06 million to the 250 shareholder members present.

Mr Carlill said the co-operative was in a sound financial position and had returned 1.55 times the paid-up share capital to members in four years.

He said this was paid in the form of dividends and incentives to members who directly consigned livestock to the co-operative.

"In the same four-year period, shareholder equity in the business has grown by 38 per cent or $10 million," he said.

"This year we also paid a 20 per cent fully franked dividend to members."

Despite criticism of the board's management by members of the Richmond River Beef Producers Association, including secretary Bill Bolin, the co-operative's general manager Gary Burridge believed the meeting was a positive one.

"In an organisation where you have 1700 members you are going to have some left and some right," Mr Burridge said.

"But the majority of shareholders clearly understood and supported the actions of the board.

"We believe we answered all our critics' questions, including all 25 from Bill Bolin's group and answered them in the appropriate forum."

Mr Burridge also rejected accusations by Mr Bolin's group the co-operative was responsible for reduced competition at Casino saleyards.

"The responsibility of the Northern Co-operative Meat Company is to have an efficient, cost-effective and well managed food processing plant that allows our operators access to all markets," he said.

"We are not responsible for what price people get paid at the saleyards."

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