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Ballance announces new Chairman

Ballance announces new Chairman

Waikato farmer and businessman David Peacocke has been elected as Chairman designate of Ballance Agri-Nutrients Limited, set to replace David Graham who will retire from the board in September after 10 years as Chairman.

Mr Peacocke, who joined the board in 2005, was elected to the new position by fellow directors at the company board meeting in late February. He and his family are based in Raglan on their beef property and he has interests in several large family farming operations.

The Peacocke family farmed cattle up until about 20 years ago when they transitioned to a mixed operation which now includes dry stock, dairy and cropping in both the Waikato and Canterbury regions. The family are long-standing customers and shareholders of Ballance and its predecessors, and Mr Peacocke’s father Frank also served as a director on the Bay of Plenty Fertiliser Co-operative then Ballance board from 1991 to 2005.

Ballance Chairman David Graham said that the company opted to appoint a Chairman designate in acknowledgement of the importance of the role and the size and scope of the co-operative.

One of New Zealand’s top 50 businesses, total revenue for Ballance in its last financial year to 31 May 2012 exceeded $900 million, resulting in a $77 million trading result and an average rebate and dividend payment of $44.29 per tonne to its 18,000 farmer shareholders.

“The Board has been working through the process to select a new Chairman over the last six months. We now have a further six months during which introductions and handovers will occur to ensure a seamless transition. Our relationships with everyone from our suppliers to our shareholders are extremely important to our company, and the process will mean David will hit the ground running when his official duties commence after the company’s annual meeting on 25 September this year,” said Mr Graham.

As 2004 Supreme Award winner in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards for the Waikato region, Mr Peacocke is more than familiar with the challenges facing farmers and sees Ballance playing an increasingly important role in their ability to overcome them.

“Farmers are constantly juggling the need to meet rising environmental expectations with the need to increase production and do it profitably. Ballance has evolved to meet these needs with the full range of nutrient products and advice, and will continue evolving as farming does to keep our shareholders and customers ahead of the game. We’re entering into a new era and I am looking forward to contributing in my new role as Chairman,” said Mr Peacocke.

“I couldn’t think of a more exciting time to be part of the Ballance co-operative as we bring the recently acquired farm technology and animal nutrition businesses into the fold and increase the breadth of the value-add products and services we offer to our shareholders.”

He says Ballance is the epitome of a modern co-operative, proactively advocating on behalf of shareholders when regulatory changes have the potential to impact farming, and investing significant sums in research and development to keep farms productive, profitable and sustainable.

Mr Peacocke holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) from Lincoln University.

ENDS

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