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Fonterra Appoints New Independent Director

MEDIA RELEASE
26 MAY 2006

Fonterra Appoints New Independent Director

Australian businessman John Ballard will join the Board of Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited in July as one of its four appointed directors.

Board Chairman Henry van der Heyden said Mr Ballard’s strong consumer goods background, with proven marketing, brand and distribution management experience from his leadership roles in Australian and international companies, would be invaluable to Fonterra.

“The role of our appointed directors on the Fonterra Board is important. They bring a balance of independence, commercial skills and experience that complement the deep dairy industry knowledge of our nine elected directors.

“John has not only had a successful career at CEO level, but has also been a non-executive director on several boards.

“In April 2003 he was recruited by Southcorp (the Australian wine group) with a brief to galvanise a management team, focus the business, reduce costs and deliver a significant turnaround in operating performance. John led the company’s return to growth for two years, until its acquisition by Foster’s in mid-2005.”

Mr Ballard, who has a Master of Business Administration from the Columbia University Graduate School of Management in the USA, has previously been on the boards of several prominent listed companies.

He chaired the board of Wattyl Ltd, a company involved in the manufacture and marketing of paints, resins and related products in Australia, USA and New Zealand. He was also a director of Woolworths Ltd, a retail company whose primary activity is supermarket operations; CSR Ltd, a building products company; and Email Ltd, a diversified industrial group.

His managing director roles include Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd (Australia) where he ran the Smith’s Snackfoods business, which was the largest snackfoods company in Australasia. He subsequently led United Biscuits Asia Pacific Ltd, when it acquired Coca-Cola Amatil’s Snackfood operations.

Mr Ballard, who is married with two children, divides his time between his Sydney apartment and his home, a small farm producing milk-fed veal, in NSW.

ENDS

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