OPINION: Fonterra farmers have delivered a stinging rebuke to the co-op leaders: don’t expect us to rubber stamp your director candidates, was the message in last week’s results.
Returning officer Warwick Lampp will announce the independent nomination candidates on September 10.
Fonterra’s director election rules allow prospective candidates to nominate themselves through two channels: the independent nomination process or the self-nomination process, but not both, in the same election cycle.
Candidates opting for the independent nomination process will be assessed by an independent selection panel; after the confidential selection process, the panel will provide an assessment to the co-op board and shareholders council.
Self-nominations, where farmers may put themselves forward as candidates outside the independent nomination process, would follow, with the nomination period running from Monday, September 10 to Thursday, September 20.
Former Fonterra chairman John Wilson has indicated he will retire from the board at the annual meeting in Waikato on November 8, meaning at least one seat will become vacant.
Two other directors – Nicola Shadbolt and Ashley Waugh -- will also retire by rotation; they have yet to publicly re-nominate themselves. Former Fonterra director Leonie Guiney is likely to self-nominate.
Lampp will confirm all candidates on September 24.
The election will be held using the ‘first past the post-majority’ system via postal and online voting by Fonterra shareholders.
Only Fonterra shareholders are eligible to stand; they must satisfy eligibility requirements in order to be elected.
Nominations for the shareholders' council and directors remuneration committee elections will also be called in September.
Shareholders council members in nine wards will retire by rotation this year.