Fonterra says some aspects of the dairy industry regulations are “tipping the playing field in favour of foreign exporters, at the expense of Kiwi farmers”.
“I want farmers to know I will do my very best and I will work hard for them,” he told Dairy News.
“It was a good result. I was quite surprised at the outcome with only two people making it through but I guess that is the system.”
He says going into the election he was concerned the farmers may “just see me as a kiwifruit guy”.
“But I think when they got to meet me in person and heard what I had to say then they understood I had something to offer”.
He says his first priority on the board will be to listen. “When you go onto boards you have got to be really careful just to take your time,” he says.
“My main plan is to try and get my head around the business. It is a very large complex business so my aim is to just to spend time with the senior executive and get as much insight into the business as I possibly can. And just contribute wherever I can.
“In the first six months you have got to do a lot of listening, not a lot of talking.”
McBride will step down as chairman of Zespri in February and retire as a Zespri director at the annual general meeting in July next year.
Asked if he would be ready for the Fonterra chairmanship if the directors wanted him to, he said it was too premature to even talk about it.