Five Horizons farms are contenders in the 2020 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Agribusiness leaders Gray Baldwin and Donna Smit are not seeking re-election when their terms expire later this year for the North Island ward. A third retiring director Murray Taggart is seeking re-election in the South Island Ward.
Ballance chairman, David Peacocke, says the dual vacancies in a single ward, with no directors standing for re-election, is a first for the cooperative.
Ballance is calling for nominations through to August 14 and Peacocke expects strong interest from shareholders, given the depth of governance capability in the rural sector along with commercial experience that could complement the current board composition.
“There’s a great pool of talent out in rural New Zealand, and we really value that diversity of thought as part of strong governance in our co-op.”
Smit tendered her resignation this month to allow nominations as part of the normal annual election cycle. Peacocke says it was a tough and considered decision for her to stand down after two years on the board, due to additional governance workload since being elected to the Fonterra board in 2016, together with growing industry and business commitments.
“My thanks to Donna for her contribution to the strength of discussion, and the Board dynamic, during her time as a Ballance director.”
Peacocke says Ballance shareholders owe a debt of gratitude to Gray Baldwin – for his role in governance over the past nine years on the board and his contribution on the leadership team, as GM sales & marketing and GM distribution & logistics through a key period in the evolution of the business following the rebrand from BOP Fertiliser.
“Gray has had a very significant and positive influence – with a big vision for our co-op. He’s always been prepared to challenge the status quo and bring innovative thinking to the table. This has helped move Ballance forward to the very strong position we are in today. He’s done a great job.”
Peacocke says Baldwin’s commercial acumen was matched with an unwavering focus on shareholder value, with farmer benefit right at the front of his mind.
All shareholders are contacted as part of the Directors Election process, and nomination forms – along with eligibility requirements – are available from the Shares Registrar on 0800 267 266. The outcome of the nominations (and any vote) along with director changes, will become effective at the Ballance annual meeting on 26 September.