Coorumburra Rural Enterprises

A SWOT analysis of this company.

Strengths

  1. Australian beef is valued in the overseas market and is seen as "safe" meat. (no BSE etc).
  2. Coorumburra Rural Enterprises already hold the title to land, a real advantage as the land prices were sky rocketing when this case study was prepared.
  3. There is a good spread of experience in the Board of Directors (farming and business)
  4. They have employed an independent financial accountant and business advisor, both of whom have experience in dealing with indigenous businesses.
  5. They now have an experienced property manager.
  6. They now have an experience stockman.
  7. They have given their manager and stockman a lot of autonomy, and have a strong system for reporting to the Board.
  8. They have a very low cattle mortality rate (around 1%)
  9. They use livestock tags to chart the stock lines and improve them.
  10. They have land which contains several waterways, and also high ground which will sustain cattle in times of flood.
  11. They are not in competition with the neighbouring stations, but work collaboratively.
  12. They have carefully planned community support, raising their profile and following their goals.
  13. They have been marketing carefully - at the Beef Expo, creating export opportunities and partnerships with other indigenous businesses.
  14. They have a licence to remove water from one of their creeks.
  15. They have good links with other indigenous pastoral businesses in their locality.

Weaknesses.

  1. They need funding, and have already borrowed money to set up.
  2. They need to spend a lot on the property to make it useable, and for the equipment to use if effectively.
  3. The fences need checking every fortnight, which is a considerable cost in labour and materials.
  4. They have had a high staff turnover in the past, with 3 property managers in 3 years, so very little direction and control on the ground.
  5. They are hoping to move into stock sales with their own herd (their future plan), but these are less reliable in terms of price per Kg for beef, and also happen irregularly - a clear implication for their cash flow.
  6. Their website has not been updated since 2007.
  7. The creek they can take water from is dry.

Opportunities

  1. At the time of the case study they were not drought affected - they were still able to raise very good quality cattle.
  2. They had considered breeding bulls to go to stud.
  3. They had good involvement with and from their community -this could be utilised further.
  4. They had a plan for the Indigenous Business Conference.
  5. They could move into organic beef farming.
  6. They had had inquiries about running feedlots.
  7. They could capitalise on cultural tourism, and their links with other local indigenous businesses to provide a tourist experience.

Threats

  1. Their business is weather reliant. They are at the mercy of drought, flood or wildfire.
  2. They rely on the export market - the value of the Australian dollar affects their profit margins.
  3. The mining companies locally attract more workers - they pay better rates, and they have a job with a social aspect. It is difficult to find people happy to work in the relative isolation of a cattle station, especially for the lower wages offered.
  4. Parthenium has been found on the station. It is toxic to cattle, and is an invasive weed. Luckily it does not thrive in the soil at Coorumburra, but needs constant monitoring to be erradicated.