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Rob Hewett Appointed Silver Fern Farms Co-op Chair

At the Co-operative’s Annual Meeting on 29 April, Richard Young announced that he was standing down as Co-operative Chair to facilitate transition to the next generation of Silver Fern Farms Co-operative leaders.

To bridge this transition period, the Co-operative Board has requested that Rob Hewett step back into the Co-operative Chair role that he relinquished two years ago, together with continuing in his role as Co-Chair of Silver Fern Farms Limited.

Mr Hewett said “Firstly I want to thank Richard for his significant contribution as Co-op Chair for the past two years. Over that time, he has led the development and establishment of a clear vision and purpose for the Co-operative, which ensures we continually work cohesively with our investment in Silver Fern Farms Limited, but also ensuring the voice of our farmer shareholders is heard. I also know he will continue to make a significant contribution for the balance of his current term. Over the next three years there will be significant managed transformation in our Board composition as several of our farmer elected directors come to the end of their maximum terms as allowed for in our Constitution – myself included. While the Constitution does allow for term extensions on a case by case basis for Directors who have reached their maximum term, it is the clear intention of the Co-operative board to manage succession proactively.”

The Co-operative Board is very focussed on the importance of developing the next generation of governors. Over recent years this has led to the successful establishment of the highly regarded “To the Core” Governance programme, together with scholarships to support our shareholders in developing their personal governance development plans.

Mr Hewett said “I am particularly pleased at our recent election with the high calibre and good number of candidates that put themselves forward for public scrutiny. All candidates this year have attended ‘To the Core’ or a similar governance development programme. I have real confidence that our governance future is strong when we see committed people like this put themselves through the election process for the opportunity to serve their fellow shareholders. I am very pleased for Gabrielle Thompson, our board-appointed farmer director on the Co-operative that she was successfully elected to the Board. This will free up a board-appointed director role, which the Co-operative Board will be looking to fill later this year.

“Together with my fellow Board members, we will continue to actively identify and develop the talent within our shareholder group. Not only does this ensure much-needed leadership skills are developed and taken back to our rural communities - to our sports clubs, community groups and schools – it also ensures Silver Fern Farms Co-operative and Silver Fern Farms Limited continues to maintain high quality governors into the next decade and beyond.”

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