How close Western Australia’s now thriving producer lamb co-operative came to collapse after its establishment in 1999, is a reality few people understood before the recent release of WAMMCO’s official history “Off the Hook,” according to Aldersyde producer Wally Mills.
“Like everyone else, I have tended to take our WAMMCO cooperative for granted,” Wally said last week.
“But in the latter months of 2000, the structure teetered on the brink of collapse with mounting liabilities, bankers and directors in fright and an apparent indifference by the coalition government of the day.
“Had it not been for directors Dawson Bradford, Max Cameron and others who took control, former Metro Meat CEO Des Griffiths and a team of accountants nominated by then Deputy Premier Hendy Cowan, there would have been little chance of a rescue.
“Off the Hook” confirms just how fortunate the sheep producers of WA are that they own Australia’s most unique sheepmeats processing and marketing enterprise, and that it is doing so incredibly well for us.”
Wally spoke of his surprise at the precarious early history of WAMMCO at the co-operative’s Producer of the Year presentation, following the annual meeting at Katanning.
He urged fellow producers to fully appreciate the value and security the co-operative offered them by ongoing investment in leading edge processing technology, the production incentives it offered and the premium global markets it had developed.
“WAMMCO has grown as a major, truly co-operative asset for WA sheep and lamb producers that not only underwrites our prices each year, but now also shares profits in the form of a serious rebate in most years,” he said.
Wally and Glennis Mills’ Glenwal & Co won WAMMCO’s Producer of the Year title in the medium crossbred lamb supplier category for 2018.
Tom and Donna Lynch of Hyden won WAMMCO’s Judy Cameron Memorial Award for Producer of the Year in the large crossbred producer category while the title for small crossbred producers went to Wayne and Johanna Tomlinson of Kalgan. In the Merino section, Cascade producer Scott Welke won the large producer award, with the small producer title going to Evan, Jennifer and Patrick Wyatt of Pingaring.
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