The country's smallest dairy co-operative, Tatua, has topped the milk payout stakes again.
The Waikato-based co-op has confirmed its 109 farmer suppliers will be getting a total payout for the past season of $7.50 cents a kilo of milk solids.
That's 60 cents below the previous season's record of $8.10 a kilo, but well above Fonterra's $6.40 total payout for the past season.
Tatua chief executive Paul McGilvary says the result reflects a year when a number of key developments came together.
"For example, we've got a new foods plant to make high value added specialised cream based products, in particular targeted at the food service industries of Asia/South East Asia, which increased capacity substantially in its first year of operation".
Mr McGilvary says the firm also managed to purchase some milk on the shoulders of the season which helped keep the plant relatively full until quite late in the season.
He says Tatua managed to blunt some of the effects of the high New Zealand dollar with good foreign exchange management.
Mr McGilvary says Tatua's product mix was favourable compared to other companies and it also had a record milk intake from its own suppliers.