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Black day for Fonterra

25 June 2012

Black day for Fonterra

Today’s vote by Fonterra members to accept the proposed Trading Amongst Farmers scheme puts family farmers at risk, the Green Party said today.

“It’s not trading amongst farmers but trading against farmers,” said Green Party agriculture spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“Allowing non-farmer investment does not fit with the co-operative model; it will put the pressure on to increase the return to investors at the cost of good quality farming.

“TAF will create a trade-off between having a higher share price and farmers getting a lower price for their milk.

“Farmers have different interests to outside shareholders. Those farmers working to produce high quality products and improve their impacts on the environment could lose control of their own co-operative.

“Outside investors don’t have voting rights but that doesn’t mean that over time they won’t have influence on Fonterra.

“TAF is to dairy farmers what asset sales are to the rest of New Zealand and will take profits away from provincial New Zealand where they are needed.

“The whole process around restructuring Fonterra has been poor and executives have muddied the waters with complex communication.

“The independent expert that presented to the select committee told us that TAF was fundamentally flawed.”

ends

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