Southern Cotton has been providing cotton ginning services to growers in the Southern Valleys since 2012. We understand the environment our growers operate in because it’s the one we operate in too – our owner directors are also local cotton growers.
Southern Cotton is an independently-owned ginning facility located in Whitton, in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA), Southern NSW.
In 2017, we reached the milestone of processing one million bales. We employ 40-plus seasonal workers and 29 full-time staff and the value of the crop that’s been ginned at Southern Cotton has returned over $500 million to the local economy.
We have achieved this success by proactively educating farmers on the potential of the crop through a variety of channels, maximising the return to our growers, implementing first-rate management practices and ginning processes, and consistently delivering exceptional customer service.
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In May 2011, the now directors of Southern Cotton had a vision for the cotton industry in Southern NSW – to set up a cotton ginning facility that would provide a highly-profitable alternative crop for farmers in the Murrumbidgee Valley and offer affordable freight and logistics management.
In just 12-months, after taking a hands-on approach, they transformed a subdivided ‘greenfield’ site into an operational $26 million gin. In June 2012, the first Southern Cotton bale was ginned. Southern Cotton ginned the most bales ever in a first-year gin, processing 166,234 bales.
A new state-of-the-art gin would provide Southern Valleys’ growers with access to fast, quality ginning, and would contribute to the growth of the cotton industry in the region because the crop has the best return for each megalitre of irrigation water.
With up to 60 local growers also eager to use the facility, the group took up the challenge to develop the site in under 12-months.
Our mission is to gin cotton at the highest quality, in the most efficient manner, to secure the best price for the grower and best quality for the end user.
Our core organisational values underpin everything we do. We believe they demonstrate our character and beliefs as a business and each team member has committed to act in a way that’s consistent with our values.
- Maximise returns – we are committed to achieving the best return possible for our growers. All cotton is ginned to base grade or better with quality the focus of all production.
- Quality improvement – our focus on ginning innovation will ensure a quality product with maximum yield to our growers.
- Exceptional customer service – our goal is to deliver products and services that always exceed expectations.
- Education – we are committed to raising awareness within the broader community of the cotton industry’s environmental credentials.
- Community – where possible, we will support bodies that promote education, mentoring, industry research and the next generation of agricultural leaders.
Since 2011, we turned over $150 million. In turn, this benefits the local economy and our downstream suppliers.
Here is a summary of our key achievements:
- Southern Cotton reached the one-million bale benchmark in the 2017 season.
- Cottonseed sales returned an average $320 per tonne to the region’s growers ($72million into the regional economy).
- Southern Cotton is one of the only gins in the world taking data out of the cotton picker and tracing the module number right through to the finished bale. This data includes everything about the cotton module: farmer, property, field, date, time, latitude and longitude of the modules production. By tracing this module number right through the process, production reports can be provided to growers on a per module basis.
Award wins include:
- Excellence in Business – Finalist, 2017 Murray-Riverina Regional Business Awards
- Greg Toole Award for Service to the Industry – 2017 Winner – Kate O’Callaghan
- National Award – 2015 Telstra Australian Business of the Year
- Regional Award – 2015 Telstra NSW Business Awards
- Business Leader (Kate O’Callaghan), co-winner – 2015 Murray-Riverina Regional Business Awards
- Excellence in Business – 2015 Leeton Outstanding Business Awards
- Excellence in Export – 2015 Leeton Outstanding Business Awards
- Excellence in Visitor Services – 2015 Leeton Outstanding Business Awards
- Excellence in Innovation – 2014 Murray-Riverina Regional Business Awards
- Excellence in Visitor Services, Work, Health and Safety, Employee of Choice – 2014 Leeton Outstanding Business Awards
- Excellence in Export – 2013 Leeton Outstanding Business Awards