Silver Fern Farms Co-operative believes there is significant long-term value to be gained for all shareholders by encouraging the supply of quality livestock to Silver Fern Farms Limited and for suppliers to be shareholders.

A strong Silver Fern Farms with a stable and loyal livestock supply base is better able to grow value with customers in global markets. This generation of value is of benefit to our Co-operative as a sustainably profitable Silver Fern Farms returns dividends for our Co-operative to distribute to our shareholders.

We believe the regular distribution of a dividend to Co-operative shareholders combined with a patronage reward to supplying shareholders will encourage further loyal supply over time and will generate demand for shares from non-shareholder suppliers and under-shared suppliers.

In addition to distributions, shareholder suppliers will receive shareholder supply benefits, some of which we have already started to introduce:

  • Preference on processing space
  • Preference on access to value added programmes (e.g. Venison Global Retail, Reserve Beef, ABF Retail Lamb)
  • Invitations to events (e.g. plant open days, celebrity chef events, market trips)
  • Silver Fern Farms meat purchases.

SFF Web nav bar 1920px4Dividend and Patronage Reward distribution

Silver Fern Farms Limited has a policy of paying a minimum of 30% of Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) as a dividend annually, with a target of 50% of NPAT. This dividend will be split 50-50 between Silver Fern Farms Co-operative Limited and Shanghai Maling.

In turn, the intention is for the Co-operative to distribute the money it receives to its ordinary and rebate shareholders through a dividend and a patronage reward. The Co-operative would make these payments once any funds required for retention within the Co-operative have been determined by the Co-operative Board. The Board will also consider the overall size of the available pool for determining whether both the dividend and patronage reward distributions can be allocated.

The payment time frame will occur after the Co-operative’s Annual Meetings which are expected to take place during the second quarter of the calendar year. The Co-operative has a financial year to 31 December to mirror that of Silver Fern Farms Limited.

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Distributions by the Co-Operative

There are two potential pools to distribute this dividend:


The Dividend pool will pay an amount per share across all ordinary and rebate shares.

Shareholder benefits food3


The patronage reward pool will pay an amount per share across qualifying ordinary and rebate shares up to the share standard*.

This will be exclusive to livestock supplying-Co-operative shareholders.

Ownership of shares and supply of livestock must be identical legal entities to comply with the requirements of the Co-operatives Companies Act.

Eligibility is subject to current minimum supply requirements set out in our constitution (400 SU annually), and the patronage reward will be paid on shares up to the share standard. To qualify livestock needs to be supplied direct through a Silver Fern Farms Livestock Representative.

* 8 shares per SU supplied for the first 5,000 SU, then 3 shares per SU thereafter, with a maximum of 200,000 shares.

Livestock Carcase Equivalents (LCE) as referred to in the Company Constitution is the same as Stock Units (SU).

For Clarity – 1 lamb/ewe = 1 SU, 1 deer = 6 SU, 1 cattle beast = 12 SU

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The intention is that the size of the patronage reward pool will grow as the percentage of total supply provided by shared suppliers increases. The maximum size of the patronage reward pool is limited to 35% of total distributions paid by the Co-operative (with the corresponding minimum size of the dividend pool being 65%). The maximum would apply should 100% of supply to Silver Fern Farms Limited come from shareholder suppliers. 

The Board believes that this reflects an appropriate balance between returns to all shareholders and returns to supplying shareholders. The expectation is that a shared-up supply base will generate more supply loyalty over time and therefore improved dividends to the Co-operative over time.

The patronage reward pool size is set annually by the Co-operative Board with reference to the percentage of supply provided by Co-operative shareholders.

The patronage reward payment on a per share basis is intended to provide a supplying shareholder, who owns shares at the share standard, with a total return (dividend + patronage reward) of over 80% the size of the dividend payment alone. 

It is envisaged that this ratio, alongside the other priority benefits offered to shareholder suppliers, will incentivise under-shared and non-shared suppliers to acquire shares in Silver Fern Farms Co-operative, to assist the desired level of loyalty around continued supply of livestock to Silver Fern Farms Limited.

Please download the full Shareholders Benefit Programme brochure to learn more about the Dividend Pool and Patronage Reward Pool ratio, information on the Share Standard required and how to buy and sell Silver Fern Farms Shares.

Download Shareholder Benefit Programme Brochure


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