Monday, 17 December 2012 12:46

Tough decisions stimulate growth – Spierings

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Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings says since the co-op's formation in 2001, the board and farmer shareholders had made the tough decisions required to position it for growth.


Establishing a Fair Value Share, achieving a transparent Milk Price, and introducing a dividend policy were the first three hurdles, he told Fonterra's annual meeting in Hamilton today.

"This year, TAF (trading among farmers) has delivered permanent share capital and a stable capital base," he says.
"Looking ahead, our business strategy is to grow volumes, grow value, generate more cash and improve our return on capital."

To deliver on this, Spiering's priorities are to:
• Shift more ingredients sales direct to customers and generate prices higher than Global Dairy Trade;
• Grow consumer and foodservice volumes;
• Align costs and spending so the co-op has money to invest in areas that will generate growth; and
• Maintain a balance between environmental, economic and social sustainability.

"We have to start thinking differently about cost – and have already started doing this with our focus on reducing costs by $60 million this financial year."
Building a durable co-operative for the future meant Fonterra had to align spending, to make sure resources were directed to the right priorities, says Spierings.

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