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Shareholders’ Council Demands Action For Farmers

Media Statement – For Immediate Release

Thursday, 1 August 2002

Shareholders’ Council Demands Action For Desperate Farmers

Fonterra Co-operative Group Shareholders’ Council are demanding action from the company on behalf of its shareholders, Council Chairman Tony O’Boyle said today.

While the Fonterra management team is to be commended for making the structural changes required to form the company, the level of service to a significant portion of the shareholder base is unacceptable.

“I want Chairman John Roadley, to explain why assurances given to shareholders by CEO, Craig Norgate and himself to shareholders at last week’s Special Meeting had not yet been delivered,” Mr O’Boyle said.

“I rang the Chairman, who was with the Board and CEO in Washington, yesterday to further voice the Council’s frustrations.”

With the new season’s milk production starting to flow, Mr O’Boyle said desperate shareholders are ringing their councillors demanding action. “The problems being experienced lie at the very core of why farmers choose to supply a co-operative.”

Immediately prior to the company’s Special Meeting last Friday, the Council had received assurances, that the problems had been identified and all efforts were being made to resolve them. “The Council gave the company a chance to effect some change. A week later and the problems are still occurring.

We are now beyond accepting assurances”.

The issues range from:

- tankers not arriving to collect milk for the first day of pick up or
- Tankers picking up on day one and not coming again
- Significant delays in milk grade notification
- Illegibility of tanker dockets or tanker dockets not being left at all.

“I am now receiving daily briefings from the company on their resolution of these issues,” Mr O’Boyle said.

Mr O’Boyle said the company had agreed to have a representative from the company attend all Supplier Network meetings organised by the Council for shareholders.

“The real concern is the sheer diversity of the problems and the impact they are having on farmers,” Mr O’Boyle said.


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