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Fonterra farmer directors retire

Friday 21 October 2016 12:10 PM

Fonterra farmer directors Malcolm Bailey, Ian Farrelly retire

By Sophie Boot

Oct. 21 (BusinessDesk) - Two longtime Fonterra Cooperative Group farmer directors Malcolm Bailey and Ian Farrelly will retire from the board in December, the cooperative says.

Bailey was elected to the board in 2004, having previously been the president of Federated Farmers. He was chair of the board’s risk committee until May this year, and is a member of the cooperative relations committee, as well as leading the initial work on the cooperative's recent governance and representation review, Fonterra said.

Farrelly joined the board in 2007, having clocked up a 20-year career in banking including 15 years as head of ASB Bank's rural division. He operates a 400-hectare calf rearing farm in Te Awamutu and has dairy farm interests in Canterbury and Waikato. He will also retire from his position on the board of the manager of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund in December, which he joined last September replacing Ralph Norris.

Bailey and Farrelly were "dedicated and experienced directors who shared a strong commitment to co-operative principles and the business’ strategy of converting more milk into higher-value products," chair John Wilson said, thanking the two for their service.

"They brought to our board strong agri-business acumen and governance experience, along with a passion for dairy farming – both are successful commercial farmers with farming interests in Waikato, the lower North Island and Canterbury," Wilson said. "Importantly, they were deeply connected with our farmer shareholders and our co-operative’s focus on producing the best milk and securing the best returns in global markets.

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"Both have served on our board during a period of significant change, including the introduction of Trading Among Farmers, our business strategy refresh and more recently the governance and representation review."

Last week, shareholders voted in favour of a new governance and representation model, with the key change being farmers can directly nominate their own choice for selection to the board.

The board will be reduced to 11 directors from the current 13, comprised of four independents and seven farmer directors. They also use a first-past-the-post voting system, replacing the previous single transferable vote model, and an independent nomination process, while adding a self-nomination process that requires the support of 35 shareholders.

Units in the fund, which give investors exposure to Fonterra's earnings, rose 0.3 percent to $5.93, and have declined 1.3 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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