AFFCO Holdings

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AFFCO Holdings Limited
Formerly called
Auckland Farmers' Freezing Co-Operative[1]
Subsidiary
Industry Meat Processing
Tannery
Founded 1904 (1904) in Auckland, New Zealand
Headquarters Hamilton City, New Zealand
Key people
Nigel Stevens, CFO[2]
Products Beef
Veal
Pelts
Lamb
Revenue Increase $968 million NZD
Number of employees
2800+
Parent Talley's Group
Divisions Affco USA, Inc
Affco Europe Ltd [3]
Website www.affco.co.nz

AFFCO Holdings Limited, commonly referred to as AFFCO or "Auckland Farmers Freezing Company", is New Zealand's fourth largest meat processor, having been in operations since 1904. AFFCO has been largely owned by Talleys group since 2007 and is one of the few remaining Talleys owned companies to employ unionised workers at their plants. AFFCO has nine plants across New Zealand.

AFFCO is the subject of a song by New Zealand band The Skeptics which is best known for its music video that includes graphic scenes of animal slaughter.

History[edit]

In 2002 AFFCO acquired all shares of shareholders that held 1000 shares or less. This buyback accounted for 0.87% off all shares listed at the time and effectively removed over 7000 shareholders from its share register.[4]

In 2004 AFFCO acquired New Zealand's largest processor of Bobby Calves Dairy Meats New Zealand Ltd for $42.2 million.[5]

In 2007, Affco through its subsidiary Dairy Trust acquired 55.5% Waikato-based dairy exporter Open Country Cheese Limited for an undisclosed amount.[6] In December 2013, AFFCO's shareholding was raised to 70.5% after Talleys; through AFFCO, purchased 14.99% from Olam International.[7]

Talleys[edit]

Talleys takeover began in 2001 after the fishery acquired a 10% stake on top of its existing 1.3% stake for $6 million (NZD).[8]

In 2003, after multiple bids, Talleys successfully raised its shareholding to 37% after purchasing 11% from Hugh Green Investments.[9]

In March 2006, Talleys made another bid to acquire more shares in AFFCO taking their stake to 50.01% from its then 40% stake. It was also reported that Talleys has been constantly been acquiring shares in AFFCO through both on-market and off-market acquitisions.[10] Later in the year Talleys closed its bid receiving an 18% stake from several minor shareholders taking its stake to just over 58%.[11]

In 2010 it was reported that Talleys had come to an agreement to purchase John Spencer's stake in AFFCO by purchasing his shares held by Toocooya Nominees increasing its shareholding to 76.2% for $43.9 million.[12] Later in the year Talleys launched a full-scale takeover of AFFCO.[13]

By October 2010, Talleys had acquired 90.474% of all AFFCO shares forcing a compulsory acquisition to occur giving Talleys 100% of all AFFCO shares. AFFCO was subsequently de-listed from the NZX.[14]

Controversy[edit]

In 2006 AFFCO fired multiple workers under suspicion of a theft ring was operating in its Wairoa plant. In 2007 an Employment Relations Authority court found in favor of the fired workers for unjustified dismissal and awarded upwards of $60,000 combined as compensation and unpaid wages.[15]

In 2014 AFFCO was fined over $30,000 after firing a worker for refusing to work on the Sabbath as it was against his religion. The worker took the case to the Human Rights Review Tribunal as an infringement on his human right to religion.[16]

Strikes[edit]

In 2012 a strike occurred throughout all AFFCO Meatworks plants after AFFCO 'locked-out' over 750 union workers.[17] After weeks of protest the strike found support in multiple organisations, including the Mana Party[18] and the New Zealand Labour Party.[19] The strike was called off after AFFCO and the New Zealand Meatworkers came to an agreement after 12 weeks of striking.[20]

In June 2015 another strike broke out after 'lock-outs' started occurring once again after a contractual disagreement between New Zealand Meatworkers and AFFCO regarding individual contracts and seasonal workers.[21] In early-2016 the Employment Court ruled that AFFCO had illegally 'locked-out' workers and ruled that the company must allow workers back to work.[22]

In March 2016 more strikes occurred after AFFCO announced staff layoffs.[23]

Unsafe Working Conditions[edit]

In 2008 AFFCO received fines amounting to $75,000 after failing to ensure a safe working environment after a worker had his finger cut off during work.[24]

In 2010 AFFCO was fined up to $53,000 after failing to ensure a safe working environment after a workers leg was broken after being trapped in a machine that did not have appropriate safety gear.[25]

In July 2012 AFFCO was fined over $62,000 after failing to ensure a safe working environment after a worker fell 7 meters into a carton well area. Preventative measures taken after the initial probability of accident was noticed, including installing a gate at the top of the well-shaft and providing employees with a fall arrest harness, were not sufficient to prevent the fall from happening.[26]

In February 2015 AFFCO was fined $5000 after the Employment Relations Authority found that a former worker was unjustifiably dismissed after launching complaints of bullying in the workplace.[27]

Meat Hook Incident[edit]

In 2014 it was reported that a male at the Rangiuru site was impaled in the cheek during work.[28] In June 2015 AFFCO was charged by Worksafe New Zealand under the Health and Safety Employment Act.[29] After an investigation it was found that AFFCO had not followed company safety regulations and was found guilty of breaking the Health and Safety Employment Act.[30] After a lengthy trial AFFCO was fined $30,000 for failing to uphold the Health and Safety Employment Act. They were also fined a further $25,000 in repiration fees for the impaled worker.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Talley's boosts Affco holding". 21 August 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  2. ^ http://www.affco.co.nz/locations/head-office/
  3. ^ http://www.affco.co.nz/products/sales-international/
  4. ^ "Affco mops up small shareholdings". 11 March 2002. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  5. ^ "Affco to pay out $44.2m for bobby calf business". 28 November 2004. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  6. ^ Burgess, Malcolm (2 August 2007). "Dairy Trust confirms it has Open Country". Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  7. ^ "Talley's to lift stake in Open Country". 24 December 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  8. ^ Stevenson, Philippa (4 October 2001). "Fisherman Talley's takes bigger stake in meat". Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  9. ^ "Talley's raises Affco holding to 37pc". 30 July 2003. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  10. ^ "Talleys bids for control of Affco". 13 March 2006. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  11. ^ Ward, Stephen (13 June 2006). "Success shows Affco offer 'fair'". Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  12. ^ "Talley's bid for meat processor Affco". 14 June 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  13. ^ "Talley's makes full offer for Affco". 21 July 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  14. ^ "Talley's takes charge". 7 October 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  15. ^ Woulfe, Catherine (29 July 2007). "Fired meatworker picks up $46,000 stake". Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  16. ^ "Meat worker sacked for refusing to work on Sabbath". 27 February 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  17. ^ O'SULLIVAN, PATRICK (29 February 2012). "AFFCO workers vote to strike". Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  18. ^ APNZ (10 May 2012). "Harawira calls for Talley ban". Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  19. ^ "Affco upset by Shearer's picket visit". 17 May 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  20. ^ "AFFCO meatworkers dispute settled". 22 May 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  21. ^ Nicholas, Jill (17 June 2015). "Mediation ordered in meat works dispute". Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  22. ^ "Affco must allow workers to return to day shifts, Employment Court rules". 12 February 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  23. ^ "Workers protest Affco staff layoffs". 9 March 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  24. ^ LOBBAN, NICHOLA (17 April 2008). "Affco fined $75,000 for industrial accident". Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  25. ^ Hunter, Michele (16 September 2010). "Firm fined $44k after worker breaks leg". Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  26. ^ "Affco fined $60k after worker's fall". 24 July 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  27. ^ "Meat worker bullied at 'the guts table'". 25 February 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  28. ^ "Man impaled at AFFCO". 19 August 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  29. ^ "Charge over hook in worker's head". 19 June 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  30. ^ "Affco meatworking plant failed in safety after cleaner impaled". 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald. 
  31. ^ "Affco meatworking plant to pay $55,000 after worker hooked in head". 20 April 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016 – via New Zealand Herald.