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Gent’s Desparate Claim


Gent’s Desparate Claim

Greg Gent, is Deputy Chairman of Fonterra, NZ’s largest company. He is standing for re-election to the board. With the other seven candidates, Mr Gent spoke at farmers’ meetings around the country last week.

In replying to a question from the floor, Mr Gent claimed I am being paid to write newspaper articles critical of Fonterra.

This is incorrect. It is also totally out of line by Mr Gent.

I am not paid a cent by anyone. I write articles to try and keep dairy leaders honest. I write articles because people like Mr Gent keep playing politics, instead of fronting the real issues. I write articles because Fonterra is so important to the NZ economy, not just dairy farmers.

As usual, Mr Gent is attacking the man, not the ball.

Greg Gent knows that, under its current structure, Fonterra can’t achieve the growth goals promised 12 months ago. This has been explained countless times over the years by McKinseys, Dairy Board officials, co-op officials, Government officials and even fellow directors in private.

So why has Mr Gent not got the guts to say what he know to be true in front of farmers?

- To do right by farmers, he should let them choose how much money they want to invest in overseas milk businesses.

- To meet your growth targets in the value-added area, he knows a normal company structure will be needed for that business, with separate shares tradable and delinked from supply.

- And he should know that Fonterra needs more directors with expertise beyond milk production and processing.

Front up to the issues please, Mr Gent.

Tony Baldwin

Leader, Producer Board Project Team 1999.

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