Friday, December 1, 2023

Alliance nails down payments after outcry

Neal Wallace
Extension of loyalty programme had threatened to delay cash to farmers.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Qualifying Alliance Group suppliers will start receiving new-season advanced payments from Thursday, November 16, after unprecedented demand for the loyalty programme threatened to cause delays.

Farmers took to social media this week criticising Alliance’s decision to extend by two weeks the deadline for co-operative shareholders to apply to commit all their stock to the company this season, for which they receive an advanced payment.

Chief executive Willie Wiese said the co-operative has listened to the frustration of shareholders at the delayed payment.

“Based on the overwhelming feedback received from our farmers and their need for the advance payment, we have reviewed how we could fairly work through the increased demand and will deposit the advance payments already requested into our farmers’ bank accounts as a single payment on Thursday 16 November,” he said.

“Applications made during the extended period will be paid as a single payment on Monday, 4 December rather than the usual two payments.”  

The advanced payment programme is open to shareholders who commit 100% of their prime lamb, cattle or deer to Alliance, for which they receive payments of up to 80% of the value.

Wiese said this provides funds for suppliers and ensures the co-operative can meet its commitments to customers.

Such was the interest in the scheme given current market volatility, Wiese said, they needed more time to process the applications.

“Like all New Zealand meat processors, Alliance is facing significant volatility as a result of geopolitical tensions, inflationary pressures and weakening global markets.

“This has flowed through to weaker livestock pricing for our farmers.

“Given the challenges, it’s not surprising there has been considerable demand for the advance payment this coming season, so we have extended the closing date by two weeks until Friday 17 November,” Wiese said.

“We wanted to be able to offer the advance payment to as many qualifying farmers as possible in a fair and equitable way, and as a result, we needed more time to process this.”

Wiese said following a refresh of its strategy, Alliance is confident it can weather market conditions.

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