Farmlands Marketing Man to Head New $2.2 Billion Co-op Team

Published: Thu 16 May 2013 11:09 AM
Farmlands Marketing Man to Head New $2.2 Billion Co-op Marketing Team
He’s headed marketing teams in industries as diverse as frozen foods, fragrances and farming and now Allister Bathgate’s success sees him appointed to an executive management role in New Zealand’s major rural retail co-operative.
Mr Bathgate’s new role as General Manger Marketing for Farmlands Co-operative Society Limited is a significant opportunity that doesn’t come along every day so he’s “rapt about it”.
Formerly the General Manager of Innovation and Communication for Farmlands, Waikato-born and bred Mr Bathgate’s new role is a result of the recent merger of rural retailers Farmlands and CRT.
A senior marketing manager of over 15 years’ experience, Mr Bathgate is a strategic thinker with an impressive track record of delivering demonstrable outcomes, acquired with leading businesses in FMCG, retail manufacturing and service industries.
He says his new role will have an even stronger strategic focus, honing in on potential opportunities for the organisation and its thousands of Shareholders.
Mr Bathgate is pleased two colleagues from the Hawke’s Bay-based executive team will also move forward as part of the new Farmlands national executive, namely Geoff Taylor GM Retail and Steve Sturgess as CIO.
“These guys were up against some of the best in the industry and now their hard work and results achieved for Farmlands mean they’ve also secured positions in the new structure.”
Farmer Shareholders in CRT and Farmlands rural supply co-ops agreed to merge the two Societies in February this year, with a majority voting in favour of the merger. The merged entity has 54,000 Shareholders throughout New Zealand, more than 1,000 staff, 47 farm supplies stores in the North Island and 31 in the South Island with combined historic sales in excess of $2.2 billion a year.
A business plan for the merger identified potential net synergy benefits amounting to $38 million over the first three years, says Mr Bathgate.
“The merger was an historic milestone for both Societies, and we’re all looking forward to leading the new, stronger and financially successful Farmlands Co-operative Society Limited into a very exciting future.”
October 2007 - 2013: General Manager Innovation and Communication, Farmlands Trading Society Ltd
January 2006 - September 2007: Commercial Manager, Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union
January 2004 - December 2006: Marketing Manager, McCain Foods NZ Ltd
September 1998 - December 2003: Marketing Manager, Nuance Global Traders T/A Regency Duty Free
January 1997 - August 1998: Group Brand Manager, New Zealand Wines and Spirits
A co-operative owned by New Zealand farmers to improve their profitability
A national entity created through a series of mergers, culminating in the amalgamation of CRT and Farmlands in March 2013
Operates to improve the production / input cost ratios for farmers
Providing monthly rebates, loyalty rewards programme and bonus distributions
More than 54,000 Shareholders
Over 1,000 staff
48 North Island and 31 South Island retail stores
Over 120,000 charge cards transacting at more than 4,000 card partners nationwide
Four business areas: Farm Supplies (farm inputs including seed, feed and fertiliser), Charge Card Operation, Fuel & Oil Distribution and Rural Services (livestock, real estate and finance)

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