Building Trust in a Changing Market

Nov 17, 2021

Building Trust in a Changing Market
With fiscal year 2021 officially in the books, I am eager to share with you my reflections of the past year, the challenges we faced and the success we had. The year was filled with unexpected challenges globally, nationally, and locally. Yet, through it all, we are fortunate to have a talented, committed, and resilient group of employees at UFC. Because of them, and the future-focused vision we all share for your cooperative, fiscal year 2021 was successful in more ways than one.
In early 2019 the board of directors made it clear we needed to return our strategic focus to UFC’s core businesses, so we devised a plan and began implementing it. Throughout 2020, our journey was not an easy one, but it was highly rewarding to see our plan come to fruition. Through our planning we were able to resize the business, reduce inventory, generate internal operational efficiencies, better control our expenses and improve our cash management. As a result, we ended fiscal year 2020 with an extremely strong financial performance. Going into fiscal year 2021, continuing the positive momentum and positioning your cooperative for the future was our mission. With the board’s direction, and the eagerness of the entire UFC team, we leveraged the financial health and rock-solid foundation of the cooperative to further strengthen our product and service offerings.
Financially, our mission translated into a great year. In fiscal year 2019, UFC reported a local loss of $1.4 million. In fiscal year 2020, we reported a total local savings (income) of $2.4 million and total net savings of $3.2 million. In fiscal year 2021, we are pleased to report a local savings of $3.3 million and a total net savings exceeding $8 million; the strongest local performance since fiscal year 2016 along with best overall savings since 2014. In addition, fiscal year 2021 saw the overall highest revenues for any UFC fiscal year in history. Considering all of the challenges we faced throughout the year - supply chain disruptions, price increases, supply shortages, labor shortages, etc. - we are pleased to deliver these results!
Our strong financial improvement is a direct result of specific details within our plan. Most notably, maintaining the focus on our core business units, continuing to run a lean operation, and generating more cross-departmental efficiencies allowed us to capitalize on opportunities across the company. Again, this would not have been possible without the tremendous work and support of our employees. When faced with adversity we saw our departments rise to the occasion and work as a team to achieve success. Thanks to their commitment and resilience, we were well positioned to act on profitable opportunities and to serve our membership.
As I reflect on 2021 and the positive results of our actions, I am confident in our ability to continue strengthening your cooperative and better positioning it for the future in fiscal year 2022. While the decisions we make may not always be the most popular, I can assure you they are always made in the best interest of our patrons. In the past two years our team has proven our ability to improve the financial health and longevity of your cooperative. Also, along the way we have strengthened partnerships with our patrons and increased trust. As we continue into fiscal year 2022, we ask that you continue to trust in the strategic direction of your cooperative. Moving forward, if the cooperative is to remain a sustainable, competitive, and a viable partner in an ever-changing market we must continue to challenge the status quo, think outside of the box, and explore new ways of doing business.
I am honored to serve as your CEO, and to have the opportunity to work alongside the talented and hardworking team at UFC. Thank you for your continued support and patronage. I look forward to seeing you on January 5th for the annual meeting.

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