MAJOR premium beef producer Australian Agricultural Company is reviewing all parts of the organisation to determine what needs to be done to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter to shareholders, AACo chairman Donald McGauchie said while COVID-19 may well be one of the biggest challenges the company had faced, it was adapting to the changing circumstances.
"As the situation is fluid, we will continue to pivot as necessary and adjust and continue to create an organisation that is as flexible as possible to manage through this fast changing situation," Mr McGauchie said
"Rest assured we are taking numerous actions in response to this world economic slowdown and medical emergency."
Mr McGauchie said in addition to social distance work practices in all of its offices, all non-station employees and suppliers had been stopped from visiting to AACo's 26 stations, farms and feedlots in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
In addition, beef usually supplied to now closed restaurants around the globe was being allocated to retail markets. Direct to customer beef sales were also being tested, he said.
Mr McGauchie said the salaries of the executive team including chief executive officer Hugh Killen had been reduced for the next three months. Likewise, the board of directors had accepted a 20 per cent cut in directors fees. Corporate staff were working a four day week from May 1 to July 31.
"While all these steps are being taken to position ourselves to rise to the challenge of this historic event, we would like to stress that AACo is well capitalised, has significant headroom remaining across its debt facilities and the balance sheet is strong," Mr McGauchie said.
Higher cattle prices are also expected to help.
"AACo has been in existence for almost 200 years. Etched in the company's history is the ability to overcome adversity and disruption.
"This may well be one of the biggest challenges AACo has ever faced, however the company, with the help of our extraordinary employees, is adapting to the changing circumstances to ensure it continues to prosper for another 200 years."
AACo's full year results will be announced on May 20.