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Pax Fonterra, Pax


23 October 2012

Pax Fonterra, Pax

Federated Farmers is counselling Fonterra Co-operative Group’s Board that now is not the time to start examining the cooperative’s governance arrangements.

“For once it would be great to have some peace within Fonterra,” observed Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy Chairperson.

“We want Fonterra’s chairman-elect, John Wilson, given time at the helm to show shareholders what he is made of. Fonterra must also bed-in Trading Among Farmers (TAF), so now is not the time to get ahead of itself.

“The only governance change Federated Farmers wants is simple and that is a Deputy-Chairperson of the cooperative. It is needed to ensure there is a succession pathway at the very top.

“Farmer-shareholders are concerned they will get corporate heartburn if it tries to jump on everything at once. Frankly, farmers have been through the mill recently.

“There is an important resolution to tighten up the constitution around TAF to be voted on at Fonterra’s annual general meeting. That has got to be the priority.

“Of course there is a Director election first but that is for shareholders to vote upon and Federated Farmers will sail a neutral course. This is an individual decision for individual farmer-shareholders

“The Board and whoever is elected to the Board, need to remember that farmer-shareholders have invested a lot of trust in them. Their focus first needs to be on realising everything farmers were promised from TAF,” Mr Leferink concluded.

ends

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