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Commerce Commission gets it right about Fonterra



27 August 2012

Commerce Commission gets it right about Fonterra

Federated Farmers is relieved for farmer-shareholders of Fonterra Cooperative Group. The Commission has found the way Fonterra sets its milk price does allow for a healthy New Zealand dairy industry.

“The view of the Commerce Commission on the way Fonterra sets its milk price has been a nagging doubt for Fonterra’s farmer-shareholders,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.

“Fonterra said it and external experts said it. The way the milk price is set is fair and accurate and now we have the Commerce Commission agreeing.

“Federated Farmers has consistently said the way the milk price is set, ought to be firmly embedded in concrete.

“Hopefully, it should lay to rest any doubts of the general public or future non-farmer investors in the Fonterra Shareholder Fund.

“The amended Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA) requires the milk price to be set competitively so that farmers can have a choice over who they sell their milk to. By enabling other processors to exist alongside Fonterra, farmers continue to have that vital choice.

“Given this is a hugely technical area, we are genuinely pleased the Commission has come to grips with and interpreted the amended DIRA as we believe it should.

“The price farmers sell their milk to processors at is set in an open fashion that everyone can have confidence in.

“I guess we now need to ask when the outcome of the Parliamentary Commerce Select Committee’s continued inquiry into price of milk will conclude. Especially since Statistics NZ has reported a fall in the price consumers are paying for dairy goods,” Mr Leferink concluded.


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