Wednesday, 13 May 2020 09:32

Fonterra council review report due in August

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
James Buwalda. James Buwalda.

A final report into the review of the Fonterra Shareholders Council will be handed to farmers by the end of August.

The steering group formed to review the council and its core functions started surveying Fonterra farmers and sharemilkers last week on “critical issues”. It is also seeking the views of Fonterra’s board and the council. 

In an email to farmers this month, the steering group outlined its timetable.

Following a two-week survey, the group will analyse critical issues and identify options. In early June it will consult shareholders and sharemilkers on its core findings before identifying preferred options.

Any changes to the co-op’s constitution and council by-laws will be voted on by shareholders at its annual general meeting in November.

The steering group chaired by former public service executive James Buwalda told farmers it’s working towards a final report by the end of August, but is wary of COVID-19.

“This is slightly later than originally envisaged by the terms of reference, but still in good time for any recommendations requiring shareholder approval to be voted on at this year’s annual meeting,” the steering group says.

“There is some risk the timeline might be affected further by the COVID-19 environment.”

It says the review process aims to encourage and support farmer participation and feedback. 

“It is also committed to transparency, including by publishing feedback obtained through consultations. 

“Farmer feedback will be sought at two stages and we encourage you to have your say.”

The future of the council featured at last year’s annual meeting: two motions filed by disgruntled shareholders seeking independent review of the council failed to reach the 50.1% threshold.

Southland farmer Tony Paterson, whose motion received 44% support, is keeping a close eye on the review process.

Paterson told Dairy News that he didn’t apply to serve on the steering committee.

“I didn’t apply for a position as we didn’t think the process outlined by council would deliver anywhere near the independent thinking and rational decisions that we where after,” he says.

“We are very interested to see how their process unfolds and whether they can deliver on their transparent process.”

A group of Waikato farmers, whose motion garnered only 22% support at last year’s annual meeting, want the council scrapped.

They are urging shareholders to make their views known to the steering group.

Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman James Barron says it’s important for all shareholders to participate in the review process.

More like this

Fonterra’s big break

Former Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden believes the co-operative will come out a stronger global player post-COVID-19.


ANZCO makes a $30m profit

Meat company ANZCO Foods recorded its best-ever revenue of $1.7b and a net profit before tax of $30.6m for the year ended 31 December 2019.


M. bovis – we’re making headway

Ministry for Primary Industries chief science adviser, Dr John Roche on the indications New Zealand is winning the fight against Mycoplasma bovis.

Delays ruled out on water reforms

Delaying the introduction of new water reforms was not an option according to the two cabinet Ministers directly involved – Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

$700m for freshwater clean up

The Government has announced a $700 million fund to support the primary sector and other groups in meeting new clean water standards.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Effluent power

Finnish dairy company Valio is on a mission to reduce milk’s carbon footprint to zero by 2035.

What’s in a name?

The man who coined the term ‘Gypsy Day’ is slightly miffed that a term he introduced to New Zealand’s farming…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter