Alliance Group chief executive to step down

Grant Cuff, Alliance Group.Alliance Group today announced that its chief executive, Grant Cuff will step down in December, following the company’s annual meeting.

Cuff has held the position of chief executive at Alliance Group Limited since 2005.

Alliance Group chairman Murray Taggart says that Cuff has led the company through a period of significant change and was leaving the company in a sound position and at a time when prices and demand for red meat are strengthening.

“Alliance Group has a strong balance sheet and the co-operative is in a positive position to continue moving forward. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Grant’s contribution to the company.

“Under Grant’s leadership, Alliance Group has been at the forefront of emerging market development including China, Brazil and India. China is now the company’s largest export market for red meat and its emergence has played a significant part in improving returns for the co-operative’s suppliers.

“Grant has steered the company through some challenging times and Alliance Group has been fortunate to have his knowledge, experience and steady hand to rely on.

“The impact of the global financial crisis, land-use change and a challenging New Zealand dollar have combined to put pressure on our industry. Ongoing changes in customer demands, regulatory requirements and livestock supply have required continual restructuring including buying, reconfiguring and sadly closing plants.

“Grant’s sound leadership and commitment has helped the company overcome these challenges and retain its position as the country’s largest exporter of sheepmeat.

“His focus on quality livestock, quality products and efficient processing has meant that Alliance Group has been able to develop products that genuinely deliver on our brand promise, enabling us to be more selective in our customer base and target the premium end of the market.”

Cuff’s contribution to the New Zealand meat industry spans 33 years and includes roles within Southland Frozen Meat, Challenge Meats, Waitaki International and Alliance Group. He is also a director of The Lamb Companies group (North America) and chairman of New Zealand Farmers (London), the company’s UK marketing arm.

During his 24 year tenure with Alliance Group, he has held a number of executive positions including general manager commercial, chief financial officer, chief operating officer and chief executive.

Mr Cuff has also been a member of the Meat Industry Association Council and is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Murray Taggart says that Grant is a well-respected, unassuming chief executive with a thorough understanding of the company and the industry, excellent leadership qualities and exceptional analytical skills.

Cuff says that the decision to step down was not easy, but that he is confident that the company has a great future with a dedicated and experienced management team in place and improving prospects in world markets.

He paid tribute to the staff at Alliance Group that he has worked with over the years.

“For me, it is the team of people that is so important, not any one individual.”

The board will begin the search for a replacement immediately to ensure a smooth transition.

Material supplied by Alliance.

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