TALLEY family

Fishing, Agribusiness
$300 million

The Talley family has once again managed to notch up incremental gains across the seafood, vegetable, meat and dairy industries while mostly – if not entirely – staying off the media radar this year.

Founded in 1936 by Yugoslav immigrant Ivan Talijancich, Talleys Group is operated by two of Ivan’s sons, Peter and Michael Talley, who took over the business in 1964.

In early June Peter was knighted for services to business and philanthropy.

His attempts in recent years to get foreign charter vessels placed under the control of New Zealand labour laws was rewarded last August with the passing of the Fisheries Amendment Bill. 

Sir Peter described the bill as bringing about an end to “slave labour pay and conditions” in New Zealand waters while generating significant employment.

In March, the Talleys group pumped up its stake in New Zealand’s second largest dairy company, Open Country Dairy, from 55% to 69%. For the year ended September 2014, Open Country recorded a $29.8 million after tax profit, up from $18.15 million a year previous.

In December, to add to its deep sea fleet of 11 vessels, Talleys bought the 61-metre purse-seiner, Eagle, from Sanford for an undisclosed sum, while taking on board, in all senses, its 21-person, mostly American crew.

It hasn’t been all bells and whistles though.

Most publically, Talley’s group was found guilty in April by the Nelson District Court of failing to ensure the safety of employee and father of five, Cain Adams, after he fell almost seven metres to his death through an insecure hatch on of one of its tuna boats in 2012. The group was ordered to pay more than $80,000 in reparations. 

Aside from AFFCO meats (which is owned 100% by the group) and its own seafood and vegetables brands, Talley’s Group also markets the Amaltal seafood brands, South Pacific Meats, Crème de la Crème ice cream and Logan farm vegetables.

According to the Companies Office, Sir Peter has shareholdings in 10 companies and is a director of 24, including Classic Cars, Tasman Helicopters, Soltal and Igrane Investments. Michael is a shareholder in eight companies and director of 18, including Rutherford Hotel Holdings, United Security Finance and Lake Rotorua Lodge. Sir Peter’s son, Andrew, is the most active business brain in Talley’s third generation, boasting directorship of 22 companies and shareholdings in five.