In 2000 the three largest New Zealand diary co-operatives (NZ Dairy Group – Kiwi Co-operative Dairies – Northland Dairy Co-operative) merged to form Fonterra – 2001-02 being the first year of operation.
Analysts predicted that the merger would be worth $30 billion by 2010 but when you look at the figures they have only achieved just over 50% of that target.
If the NZ$ had been down at US$0.44 in 2009-10 then revenue would have been nearer $25bn which was closer to the target of $30bn.
In 2009 the importance of the dairy industry to New Zealand was evident in the GDP figures. It accounted for 2.8% of GDP with export earnings of $10.4bn. This was:
x2 of the meat industry
x6 of the fruit industry
x9 of the wine industry
x17 of the wool industry