Thursday, 20 May 2021 06:55

Musical chairs at SFF board

Written by  David Anderson
Former chair Rob Hewett has replaced his successor Richard Young at the head of SFF co-op's board table. Former chair Rob Hewett has replaced his successor Richard Young at the head of SFF co-op's board table.

It is out with the young and in with the old at the board of meat company Silver Fern Farms Co-operative (SFF).

In a move that looks akin to musical chairs, former chair Rob Hewett has replaces his successor Richard Young at the head of the co-op's board table. Young stood down from the role at the conclusion of SFF's annual meeting earlier this month. However, he will see out his remaining two-year period as a farmer director.

SFF's board has now appointed Young's predecessor Hewett to step back into the chairman's role - the job he relinquished two years ago Hewett will also continue in the role as co-chair of parent company Silver Fern Farms Limited.

Young was elected as a SFF farmer director in late 2013.

The West Otago farmer was the former chair of meat sector ginger group of Meat Industry Excellence (MIE). He was then appointed chairman of Silver Fern Farms Co-operative - which jointly owns a 50% stake in Silver Fern Farms Ltd with Chinese-based Shanghai Maling Aquarius - in 2019.

Ironically, MIE strongly lobbied against SFF selling the 50% stake to Shanghai Maling, with Young - along with fellow MIE-aligned directors Dan Jex-Blake and Fiona Hancox - labelled sell outs by the ginger group in the wake of the deal being done. Hancox retired as a director at the recent annual meeting, while Jex-Blake still remains on the board.

Speaking after the meeting, Young said he was standing down as chair to "...facilitate transition to the next generation of Silver Fern Farms Co-operative leaders..." He added that is was a good time to "bow out" and let the next person take it on for a longer period.

However, the co-operative board has now reappointed Hewett as chairman after he was elected as a farmer director. Gabrielle Thompson, who was previously a board-appointed director, was the other farmer director elected.

"Over the next three years there will be significant managed transformation in our board composition as several of our farmer elected directors come to the end of their maximum terms as allowed for in our constitution - myself included," Hewett says.

"While the constitution does allow for term extensions for directors who have reached their maximum term, it is the clear intention of the co-operative board to manage succession proactively."

Hewett claims SFF's board is very focuse don the importance of developing the next generation of governors.

"I am particularly pleased at our recent election with the high calibre and good number of candidates that put themselves forward for public scrutiny."

He added that the election of Thompson as a farmer director will free up a board-appointed director role, which the board will be looking to fill later this year.

In March, Silver Fern Farms posted a $65.4 million after-tax profit for the year ending December 31, its second-strongest result of the past decade, while Silver Fern Farms Co-operative posted net profit of $32.4 million.

More like this

Oh yeah?

OPINION: The Hound reckons that meat company Silver Fern Farms is now drinking from the same Kool Aid trough as the anti-farming types at Greenpeace.


Guy standing for Ravensdown

Former Agriculture Minister and Horowhenua dairy farmer Nathan Guy is standing for election to the Ravensdown board of directors.

Nats new first woman of Ag

The National Party's new agriculture spokesperson says she'll be working from the grassroots up, rather than the top down, as…

Machinery & Products

Helps tame the wind!

Amazone's recently released WindControl System automatically monitors and adjusts the spreading pattern to compensate for the effect of the wind…

First Claas patent hits a century

While Claas has registered more than 3,000 patents during its 108-year history, the company is currently celebrating the 100th anniversary…

JD invests in robotics

Global giant Deere and Co has acquired Silicon Valley start-up company Bear Flag Robotics, which specialises in autonomous driving technologies…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Too many hits?

OPINION: Well-known professional protestor, John Minto has run off at the mouth without checking his facts.

Good question!

A mate of the Hound's thinks it was more than a bit dodgy when DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter