Former Fonterra director Leonie Guiney is standing for the co-op’s director elections.
He concedes that Fonterra cops its share of criticism – some deserved and some over the top.
Referring to the attack on Fonterra leadership by NZ First Minister Shane Jones, Townshend says the “bizarre outburst will have been fuelled from somewhere”.
“And it will be worth watching who funds political parties (donations) and what they might like to see for their own self-interest as Government legislators do the DIRA review,” he told Rural News.
Townshend says non-supplying Fonterra unit holders receiving disappointing returns on investments have “a genuine grievance”.
However, he is disappointed at criticism from Fonterra shareholders and ex-Fonterra employees.
Townsend says Fonterra farmers need to be able to make their own assessments around how well the co-op is doing in paying its farmers a globally competitive milk price – rather than being overly influenced by outside parties with their own vested interests.