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Dexcel Proposed Trust Deed Update

30 June 2006

Dexcel Proposed Trust Deed Update

Dexcel is asking farmers to approve changes to its trust deed following a review designed to bring it up to date in a deregulated environment and improve Dexcel’s accountability to farmers and its efficiency.

Dexcel Chairman Jim van der Poel, said the deed was out of date in many respects because it was written in 2000, before industry deregulation.

“It was time for an overhaul and after a thorough review, we have a set of amendments we are taking out to the Trust beneficiaries for approval.”

Dexcel is mailing out a detailed information pack on the amendments and will hold a special general meeting on August 4 to enable beneficiaries to vote on two resolutions which, if approved, will bring the updated deed into effect.

Mr van der Poel said the proposed changes will strengthen Dexcel’s commitment to helping farmers improve their on-farm productivity and profitability.

“Our aim is to further improve our accountability to farmers, maintain our independence and promote our role as the Centre of Excellence. This will ensure that we continue to deliver a co-ordinated programme of work that benefits the dairy industry and supports dairy farmers’ productivity and profitability targets.”

He said the review has also enabled Dexcel to “tidy up” parts of the trust deed where original clauses do not achieve what was intended. An example was the interpretation of a Trustee.

“The original intention was that anybody who has paid the levy would have a right to stand for election, but the current deed restricts this right to those who have a farm in their own name. That doesn’t reflect the common practice of holding farms in family trusts or companies, so it’s important we take care of that anomaly.”

The amendments also include new provisions for the appointment, rotation and payment of trustees, the main changes being to clarify rules allowing voting in a single transferable voting system (STV). If the changes are approved, Dexcel will hold elections for trustees every two years instead of annually.

Other proposed changes are designed to improve administrative efficiencies and costs.

“Under the current deed, we are required to send notices by mail, rather than fax or email, for example and we are also required to post an annual report to all beneficiaries. The feedback is that farmers would rather we spent their levies on areas where it does the most good, so we are proposing a system where we put the annual report on our website and farmers who ask for a hard copy will receive one. It’s a small change, but it will save money that can then be poured back into core research and extension.”

Mr van der Poel is urging farmers to carefully read the information pack and to have their say by voting.

“A lot of effort has gone into improving the deed to ensure we operate more efficiently and devote more of our effort and resources to improving on-farm productivity. However, those improvements can only be made if farmers vote for the resolutions.”

ENDS


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