Fonterra says there is a genuine understanding among farmer shareholders about the global demand for sustainably produced dairy.
Former Fonterra chairman John Monaghan, who stepped down from the co-op this month, academic Nicola Shadbolt, who served as a Fonterra director for nine years and Lachie Johnstone, who served as the inaugural chairman of Farmlands Co-operative, received awards.
Co-operative Business New Zealand chief executive Roz Henry says the Outstanding Co-operative Contribution Award recognises individuals who have contributed significantly to the success of the sector over the long-term.
Johnstone was chairman of the North Island-based Farmlands Trading Society when it merged with the South Island-based CRT Co-operative in 2013.
Henry says Johnstone has been a champion for the co-operative model.
“He is someone who has upheld the co-operative principles and this was particularly evident during the formation of Farmlands, when he was truly focused on ensuring the new co-operative was based on the core values of the model and that the structure would provide a livelihood for members. “He has also been a key advocator in ensuring the development of governance skills and capability across the sector.”
Shadbolt, a Massey University, is a staunch advocate for the co-operative model.
Henry says she is a trailblazer who has worked incredibly hard to achieve long-term, sustainable change.
“For Cooperative Business New Zealand, she played a key role in enabling the first piece of research to be undertaken by Massey University to gain clarity around the value of the Co-operative Economy to New Zealand.
“This work was incredibly important to the sector and has been a cornerstone in enabling discussions with the Government and regulators.”
Monaghan was nominated for the award by a group of Fonterra shareholders without his knowledge.
“John is to be admired for his determination and commitment to lead Fonterra through a significant period of transition,” says Henry.
“It was a hefty responsibility and seeing the co-operative return to a position of profitability is a fantastic way to complete his tenure.”