«® Ricegrowers’ Co-operative Limited trading as SunRice ABN 55 007 481 156 The rice growing family spans many generations TABLE OF CONTENTS Who We ...»
Exceptional Circumstances Drought Relief The severe and prolonged nature of the drought is affecting all rice growers. In mid-2004 the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia prepared an application for Exceptional Circumstances (EC) drought relief for growers in the Murray Valley. At this time it was not possible to demonstrate the level of financial impact required by the Federal Government for a successful EC application for Murrumbidgee Valley rice growers.
In January 2005, the Australian Government announced a prima facie case for EC had been demonstrated, enabling Murray Valley growers to apply for interim income support assistance.
In April 2005, the Federal Government approved full EC assistance for Murray Valley rice growers.
A case for EC assistance for Murrumbidgee Valley rice growers is now being developed.
Riviana Foods Our subsidiary company, Riviana Foods is a manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing enterprise focusing on grocery and food service. For the eighth consecutive year, Riviana Foods has posted record revenue and earnings. This was achieved by continued growth in its key categories and new product development.
Riviana Foods continues to build strong relationships with its major suppliers and customers to constantly deliver high levels of service and communication.
During the year Riviana acquired the Menu Master Food Service business from Cerebos, along with the Ocean Supreme, Garden Supreme and Regal Sea brands. The addition of this business to Riviana Foods’ existing Food Service business has given the company a greater presence in areas of this market, such as canned seafood, which further consolidates its position as a significant supplier to the catering industry.
The Always Fresh brand continued to enjoy its category leadership with a significant market share of
34.2 per cent. This was achieved through product innovation and a summer media campaign for the brand.
Riviana Foods’ manufacturing plant at Rowville, Victoria acquired a new facility adjoining the current site. Enhancements to the plant during 2004 have increased output which has improved earnings.
Despite the highly competitive environment and the brand rationalisation in the retail sector of the business, Riviana Foods has the people and the expertise to ensure the company continues to innovate and achieve its revenue and earnings growth objectives.
“Riviana Foods continues to build strong relationships with major suppliers and customers to deliver high levels of service and communication” Riviana Foods’ Portfolio of Brands
Trukai Industries The past year saw our subsidiary company Trukai Industries, Papua New Guinea’s largest and most successful rice processor and marketer accomplish the challenge of sourcing raw materials internationally to produce a finished product with the consistent taste and quality that Papua New Guineans have come to demand.
The sales and marketing division met the challenges of increased competition and maintained its dominant market position by an aggressive marketing program which included the launch of new product lines and consumer-driven promotions.
This required the support of the manufacturing and operations divisions as the increasing complexity in the delivery of raw materials necessitated an ongoing program of infrastructure development.
This was completed with a minimum of lost production time, allowing domestic and export orders to be delivered as planned.
The Trukai management team’s continued focus on the culture of Occupational Health and Safety, and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), resulted in a Lost Time Injuries score of zero loss, for an outstanding 537 days.
Trukai Product Launches Trukai launched two new varieties of rice in the premium range in 2004/05. Trukai Jasmine Rice 1kg and Trukai Basmati Rice 1kg packs, have been embraced by consumers with sales tracking above expectation. Both products are targeted at the premium end of the market.
Trukai Promotions Trukai continues to secure its position as the dominant player in the PNG rice market through a focus on innovative and value-driven promotions.
During 2004/05, Trukai protected and encouraged loyalty to Trukai brands through Roots Rice, Trukai Rice and Trukai Stockfeed promotions.
CopRice Feeds, a producer of stockfeed and companion animal products, held sales volume in the face of a difficult trading year.
Despite a tough start to the year, CopRice delivered an improved trading performance in the final quarter, which is expected to continue throughout 2005. The year had started with conditions that severely affected farmers’ ability to purchase supplementary feed. Milk prices have strengthened and coupled with lower grain prices, overall industry confidence in the diary sector has strengthened.
Tongala has expanded its products range to include products for the lamb, sheep and beef industries and coupled with increased capacity from the recent mill upgrade gives the site a good capability to pursue increased sales.
“The final quarter of the year delivered improved trading performance which is expected to continue throughout 2005” At Leeton, significant sales increases in dry extruded pet and horse foods, coupled with solid performance in sales of Max’s Cat & Pet Litter, have contributed to the growth in the companion animal business. This should provide further opportunities in 2005 to consolidate and grow the companion animal business and other niche export markets.
CopRice achieved some major operational milestones during 2004. Most noteworthy was the attainment by Leeton of accreditation under the HACCP/ISO/Feedsafe criteria. This means Leeton joins Tongala and Cobden, which were among the first stockfeed mills in Australia to gain this accreditation in 2001.
CopRice Tongala also reached a milestone in April 2005, achieving four-and-a-half years without a lost time injury. This notable outcome reflects the dedication of all CopRice employees to creating a safer working environment.
Ongoing rationalisation of the business has seen the closure of the HullTech combustion site at Griffith. Further operational reviews resulted in a restructure of core supply chain functions.
22 OUR COMMUNITY
SunRice operates in a wide range of communities across Australia and internationally. SunRice is tied to local communities through employees, customers, consumers and research, particularly in regional Australia where the rice industry contributes to the economies of more than 60 towns in the southern Riverina.
SunRice supports local communities by providing employment, providing superior products to assist customers in growing their businesses, supporting innovation and supporting regional and national initiatives.
World’s Biggest Risotto SunRice was a major sponsor and contributor to the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia Inc’s initiative to cook the World’s Biggest Risotto at Circular Quay, Sydney on 26 November 2004.
The record-breaking event was to celebrate the United Nations 2004 International Year of Rice and to raise money for CARE Australia to combat world hunger.
More than 7,000 Australians turned out to witness the spectacular new Guinness World Record, which weighed in at a massive 7,510kg. More than 4,000 servings of the dish were sold on the day for a gold coin donation to CARE Australia, and the remaining risotto was donated to homeless shelters in and around Sydney.
Rice for Tsunami Victims Many Australians were deeply affected by the humanitarian tragedy to our near north in late 2004.
With rice being the staple food of these nations, SunRice developed an aid strategy to provide people in the tsunami-affected regions of Indonesia and Sri Lanka with Australian rice.
SunRice sent approximately 45,000 SunCreations ‘ready-to-eat’ rice meals to Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Teams of SunRice staff volunteered to label tens of thousands of these meals.
Thank you to everyone involved for a fantastic effort.
SunRice Flavoured Rice Cakes now come in the successful 'Thin’ range “New product development initiatives are helping build our reputation as an innovative food company” Continual Innovation In order to respond to a constantly changing consumer market, SunRice is keenly aware of the need to innovate. This means creating new products and adapting existing ones to meet customer needs in domestic and international markets.
The value added program continued to gain momentum in 2004/05. The success of Flavoured Rice Cakes necessitated a further increase in production capacity. All retail accounts have now accepted the full range, accelerating our market share gains and delivering solid business returns.
More exciting product extensions are under development for launch in 2005/06.
The rapid launch of the SunCreations range in 2004 has placed SunRice in a solid position to extend the ‘ready-to-eat’ concept into other categories in the supermarket. The combined rice and protein range will be launched in all accounts throughout Australasia in 2005, with SunRice being the first in the category to do so. Distribution opportunities extend beyond retail to include Route and Impulse channels.
24 OUR INNOVATION
Rice Research Australia Pty Ltd Rice Research Australia Pty Ltd (RRAPL) continues to make significant progress in the area of rice varietal development.
In conjunction with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSWDPI) and the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), its focus has been concentrated on meeting market requirements while improving the agronomic characteristics of new and current rice varieties.
Cold tolerance is now a very high priority in the NSWDPI program at RRAPL. A new five-year project will look at continuing existing programs and introducing newly developed techniques to improve the cold tolerance of new rice varieties.
RRAPL is undertaking additional collaborative work with NSWDPI to increase the number of test plots for varietal assessments.
RRAPL is now a world leader in seed production techniques. The traceability and ongoing measurement and monitoring it conducts allow for the development of rice varieties with the true genotype and phenotype (physical characteristics) required by breeders and marketers.
RRAPL was involved with other research during 2004/05 including:
assessment of herbicides for controlling Barnyard Grass in drill-sown and aerial-seeded rice cultures ● further field testing of potential rice herbicides ● MaNage Rice (NSWDPI) ● seed establishment and multiplication trials (RRAPL and NSWDPI) ● Yanmar harvester evaluations ● Environmental Champions Program ●
Occupational Health and Safety Workplace safety is paramount at SunRice and we have an established strategy for achieving best practice, which is reflected in our overall business strategy.
This year our occupational health and safety management system was audited and successfully accredited by the NSW WorkCover Premium Discount Scheme.
Benchmarking SunRice safety performance against other food and beverage industries has shown SunRice to be in the lower quartile for lost time injuries and costs. CopRice Tongala has achieved four years lost time injury free, Coleambally Mill has achieved two years lost time injury free and all other business units have achieved or are progressing toward one year. Trukai is our first international business to achieve one year lost time injury free.
Environment In conjunction with the National Packaging Covenant’s measuring and reporting requirements, SunRice continues to identify opportunities to improve waste recycling.
A project to improve the SunRice waste recycling program has supported the sourcing of equipment to improve the packaging of waste product to minimise the handling and shipping frequency of packaging waste materials. This will reduce the amount of product sent to landfill.
Significant electricity savings have been achieved and the measurement of energy used in production processes has been broadened to assist with the establishment of greenhouse gas calculations to support future action plans to reduce SunRice’s ecological footprint.
“The rice industry has achieved significant progress on environmental issues through a whole-of-industry commitment”
The rice industry's Environmental Champions recognise that all living things contribute to the abundant biodiversity on farms.
Environmental Champions Program Since the development of a strategic industry-agreed environmental policy five years ago, the rice industry has achieved significant progress on environmental issues through a whole-of-industry commitment.
The programs have allowed the industry to demonstrate strong leadership in developing a dynamic, multifaceted framework for change. One of these programs is the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia Inc.’s Environmental Champions Program (ECP).
Developed in collaboration with growers and relevant regional organisations and agencies, the ECP has strong State and Federal Government support. This voluntary, innovative five-level achievement program is primarily designed to assist landholders to build their capacity to improve the environment, their economic returns and social sustainability of regional communities.
Currently the ECP is being trialled under the National Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Pilot Program, with 130 farming businesses working to ensure that the program is practical, realistic and adaptive. The industry will launch level one of the program in August 2005 with the support of the Federal Government’s Pathways to Industry program.