We farm Southland. It’s a nice way of life down here and home to our family of over 13,500 dairy cows, spread across 4,695 hectares and 19 dairy farms.
It wasn’t always this way though. Back in 1992, home was just 125 hectares for David & Kay Dodunski and their 216 cows. But things change and evolve. That’s what happened here and carried by a passion for innovation, along with an ability to efficiently produce lots of milk solids, things grew. Pretty soon the Fortuna Group became one of the fastest growing dairy operations in the lower South Island. Our operations perform in the top quartile of farms in Southland and we’ve earned a reputation for progressing farming techniques and implementing change.
The thing is, we’re just getting started. There’s a Management and Governance structure with a shared passion and the same values that have been with us since day 1. That’s a key point too. It’s that shared passion and a collective sense of purpose which drives us. We’ll continue to grow, purchasing and establishing more dairy businesses. But it’ll be done the right way.
We look after our animals, our people and our land. We look after our investors and we’re looking out for the future of farming. And we have fun doing it. That’s the Fortuna way.
Our story really begins in 1992, when David & Kay Dodunski made the move south with their 4 children. Home was on 125 hectares of lush Southland farmland, shared with 216 cows. The following decade saw the Dodunski’s add 2 more children, more farms and more cows.
In June 2012, the Fortuna Group was formed and purchased their assets and management resources. Today, the Dodunski remain an important part of the business. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Back to the action...
Multiple farms are grouped together to form the Fortuna Group
To begin with, Fortuna takes ownership of Elya, Glenarlea, Iron Bridge, Apolima, Onepu and Argyle. RAB and Aroya fall in under Management agreements. PVD is different. With PVD, the Fortuna Group has it's first Equity Manager in Pete, who bought into the farm with his partner, Melinda. It's the start of Fortuna providing opportunities to team members and creating a pathway into ownership.
New farms are added.
Jayvor and Richburn join the group under Management agreements.
The growth continues.
Betapahu is added under ownership and Quadrant is welcomed under a Management agreement.
It's all about service.
Fortuna Services kicks into gear, providing a range of support services to the farms.
More cows and more farms. And more milk too.
Gleneden and Pukes are purchased. Tutuki joins under a Management agreement and Miraka is added with the first sharemilking agreement.
The share milking setup continues
Patiki and Taurima join the group.
Wayne Ashmore, Manager at Glenarlea, scoops the Southland Farm Manager of the Year title.
One more please
Fortuna takes over the lease of Whakahi
Kounga is added under a share milking agreement.
Elya Holdings wins the farming category in the Southland Community Environment Awards
The power of poo
Official opening of the Glenarlea methane recovery plant
The Southern Dairy Hub opens and we're proud to support an amazing Southland initiative.
A podium finish
Michael Pelesco (Farm Manager Gleneden) places 3rd in Southland Farm Manager of the Year
Let's get the people.
FGL becomes an accredited employer of INZ
A big welcome too...
...Piriti, as it moves under Fortuna ownership.
The start of contract milking.
1st contract milkers employed to promote progression in company, 3 promoted from managers and started with us as Farm Assistants and Herd Managers