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Key Appointment For Fonterra Farmers

Key Appointment For Fonterra Farmers

Fonterra today announced the appointment of Greater Wellington Regional Council CEO, Barry Harris, to replace long-serving dairy industry executive Barry O’Donnell, in the key role of managing Fonterra’s relationships with farmers.

Fonterra Chief Executive Andrew Ferrier says Barry Harris will join Fonterra’s leadership team in June as Director of Shareholder Services to replace Mr O’Donnell who retires at the end of this year.

“Barry Harris has a background focused on issues of sustainability, particularly in the agricultural sector, an area that is of increasing importance to Fonterra. He is experienced at leading large teams through complex pieces of business that affect and deal with a wide range of audiences. That’s the experience we need in dealing with our farmers, the myriad of issues that affect their business and in managing our farmer support and transport networks.”

Mr Harris has strong Waikato links as former CEO of Environment Waikato, which, Mr Ferrier says, have given him a deep understanding of the economics and the impact of the dairy industry both regionally and nationally.

He is also a former CEO of the South Waikato District Council and worked as an economist in the Ministry of Natural Resource Development for the Republic of Kiribati.

“I believe all my experience has given me a real feel for the issues facing our rural economy and communities,” says Barry Harris.

“My passion lies with sustainable agriculture and putting my skills in this area to work for a leading New Zealand and international company is a challenge I’m really looking forward to.”

Barry Harris will join Fonterra in July and work alongside Barry O’Donnell until the end of the year in a handover period.

“We are fortunate that the two Barry’s will work together to share their knowledge during the transition,” says Mr Ferrier.

“Barry O’Donnell has earned an enviable reputation in our industry and joined Shareholder Services at a difficult time for our business. He indicated he would be with us for just two years - although it will be almost three years when he leaves - and there has been a marked improvement in the relationship between Fonterra and its farmers under his stewardship.

“Having Barry O’Donnell around to share his wealth of industry knowledge and familiarise Barry Harris with the systems and team that brought about that turnaround is a bonus.”

- Ends -

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