Malaysia's Milkman, Loi Tuan Ee - an inspiring Agri-Entrepreneur
|HIS DREAM IS TO PRODUCE FRESH AND PURE DAIRY JUST AS NATURE INTENDED|
Malaysian Chinese do not generally rear cows as a profession or business. But LOI TUAN EE's huge success with Farm Fresh milk products may be the breakthrough in mind set change. The successful RM1 billion IPO saw Farm Fresh Bhd listed on Bursa Malaysia on March 22, 2022. Loi owned 70% of Farm Fresh Bhd and he has monetised his years of efforts into making his dream come true. The public issue of 223 million shares at RM1.35 per share was oversubscribed. Proceeds from the IPO will be invested in a new production facility in Australia, a manufacturing hub in Malaysia n for marketing push into Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Philippines.
This 57 year old entrepreneur from Sitiawan, Perak, is an admirable chap. He loves the land, has a farmer's heart, cares for his cows, prepared to put in gruelling hard work to make things happen and most of all believes that Malaysians should have the option of nutritious fresh milk instead of just drinking the reconstituted milk from milk powder. Singaporeans agree. Spore is now a major market for Farm Fresh products. Locally it is a leading premium grade ready to drink milk products company. No preservatives from the time cows are milked till you buy it from your supermarkets. His promise.
Now if you are in your mid-40s, would you give up a high paying corporate job to rear cows?
His family and friends thought he was going through a midlife crisis. It was not easy for Loi. Banks didn't want to lend him money to buy cows. But a man has to do what he's got to do. A call of the wild perhaps. Looking back Loi admits it was a risky venture. His brother Loi Tuan Kin however believed in him and a good friend, Azmi Zainal.
Together they got Khazanah Nasional to be an investor (30%).In 2008, Loi started The Holstein Milk company, namesake of the Holstein Jersey cows (60 of them) which he brought in from Australia. Through the years he cross bred them to suit them to the hot tropical climate. Productivity is high now. He has 10,000 cows in his farms now.
We need more entrepreneurs like Loi who will do what they believe in and has a heart for agriculture and farming in a world where it is not considered cool to rear cows.
Annual Report 2022
Farm Fresh is now a fully vertically integrated dairy producer, operating six dairy farms and three processing facilities across Malaysia and Australia. It markets 135 SKUs across various brands including Farm Fresh, Master Barista, Henry Jones, Yarra Farm, Yarra by Farm Fresh and Nubian Goat’s Milk. It has established a presence in various product segments including Ready To Drink (“RTD”) chilled, ambient and yoghurt products, plantbased products, and sauces.
In 2022, Farm Fresh's total farm area increased from 4,088 acres to 5,416 acres with the opening of its fifth Malaysian farm in Taiping. This farm can house 3,000 dairy cows upon completion – and has enabled the company to increase its herd size from 7,922 to 8,938 cows. For financial year ended 31 March 2022 the Group registered total revenuew of RM501.9 million (2.3% YoY increase) and Profit before tax of RM65.7 million.
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