Chairman -Serge Battistin

As a past director and Chairman, I am privileged to once again be the Chairman of the Board of Directors of NQ Co-op Ltd and its subsidiary companies. TGT Pty Ltd and Granite Engineering were founded and created by a need in the market place to service the local community particularly the agricultural, building and hardware industries. In times when no other organisation could offer the range of products and services to our local community, NQ Co-op and its trading subsidiary TGT, expanded to accommodate an ever increasing demand. These trading entities still exist today, and in more recent times the Co-operative has expanded its services and products into the Rural sector and now operates branches servicing the cattle, dairy and other livestock industries. The success in this sector lead to the recent acquisition of Top Stock agencies, a livestock feed manufacturing plant selling to wholesale and retail customers throughout the Atherton Tablelands area and in to the Gulf and Cape communities. With the support of the local community, NQ Co-op Ltd remains a strong viable business. We remain one of the larger employers in the area and continue an age old tradition of giving back to the community through sponsorships and donations. As we grow and improve our services, we encourage the locals to continue to support the organisation to ensure this company is here for the long term to services its community.

TGT is a Wholly Owned Subsidy of NQ Co-op Ltd.

Both TGT Pty Ltd and NQ Co-Op Limited have been in operation since 1947 when it was founded as a tobacco growers’ cooperative.

N.Q. Co-op Ltd is a grower owned organisation with membership being extended to those people who are classified as primary producers who purchase goods and services from the Co-operative or its subsidiary companies to the value of $10,000 in each relevant financial year. It wholly owns TGT Pty Ltd and Granite Engineering & Manufacturing Company Pty Ltd. These companies provide consumer products for primary producers and the general public. Primary producers are represented by seven of their members who form the Board of Directors and these Directors are elected on a rotational basis, so that each Director serves a three year term. The Board sets down various policies, which the enterprises adopt in order to achieve the desired aims and objectives. The Group’s principal objective is to use its human and financial resources to keep its primary producer shareholders viable. It must endeavour to trade competitively in the market place and yet make sufficient profits to maintain the business and to return a dividend to its shareholders. The Group believes that its most important asset is its people. The Board of Directors appoints three senior executives who are the General Manager, the Commercial Manager and the Administration Manager. These Managers then appoint the necessary staff to perform the business operations of the Co-operative. The Co-operative is primarily concerned with supplying all primary producers with their needs at competitive prices. It recognises the need to keep up to date with the ever changing requirements of farming and marketing, and is continually bringing the latest and most modern techniques and machinery to the attention of all primary producers.

By 2004 the farmers had ceased growing tobacco and have turned to the production of vegetables, mangoes, avocados, lychees, sugar cane and animal husbandry. In total about 30 different crops are grown in the area, making it one of the most diverse and productive parts of Australia. The Co-operative was heavily involved in assisting the farmers to convert their businesses while having to deal with its own metamorphosis. The legacy of the early pioneers in this industry was secured by donations from the Co-operative to the Mareeba-Dimbulah Tobacco Project. The Co-operative provides all crop inputs, crop care, crop protection, animal health and animal protection for growers and assists with research and field trials to provide better production levels and financial returns.

In recent years the building and skilled trade market has become an important part of TGT’s operations. The TGT stores supply skilled workers with the tools and materials to produce high quality housing, sheds and services to the residents of the Tablelands and Far North Queensland. As locally owned and operated enterprises, the Group are generous sponsors of local sports teams and schools. Profits are ploughed back into the communities that are the backbone of the Group.

The vision of the Co-operative is:

To become the organisation that all primary producers on the Tablelands look to for leadership, protection of their interests and provision
of their needs in agricultural inputs (goods and services)

Mission Statement:

The Co-operative will anticipate the needs of shareholders and provide leadership in development of new markets, as well as services that assist them reach best practice in existing markets. It will provide shareholders with buying advantages, assistance and support. It will provide employees with the training, the working environment and recognition they need to achieve a high level of professionalism in all operations. It will support and contribute to the Tablelands community.

Field Advisory Service (F.A.S.):

The Co-operative also provides a Field Advisory Service consisting of employees trained in all aspects of crop production and market presentation. Working in conjunction with the Research and Extension Officers from the Department of Primary Industries, Field Advisors are trained to provide advice on the correct application of fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and provide agronomic advice for the production of crops grown on the Tablelands.The Field Advisory Service also conducts a district survey prior to each crop to estimate the area’s requirements for fertilizer and chemicals to ensure that these are available for sale to the growers as and when they are required. The above services are provided free of charge to members of the Co-operative.