Friday, 16 October 2020 14:28

Shareholders Council review - final report out

Written by 

Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman James Barron says the council supports the recommendations of a review into its role and functions.

A steering group delivered its final report to the council today.

Barron says the council is committed to actioning the recommendations.

He says councillors will be meeting farmers in their respective wards next month “to get a greater understanding of their views and expectations”.

The steering group, chaired by James Buwalda, has made a list of recommendations including changing the council’s name to Fonterra Cooperative Council.

The steering group says the council must actively represent the interests of all members of the cooperative and that this representation role must not conflict with the board’s governance role.

It says to avoid blurring representation and governance, the council should stop communicating board strategy and company operations to members.

Describing the council as a ‘cornerstone shareholder’ should also cease.

The steering group says the council’s primary role must be to connect members to their co-op.

It calls for communication with members to be strengthened. It also suggests members are fully informed of the co-op’s performance.

“It must hold the board to account. This means seeking from the board explanation and responsibility for Fonterra’s strategy and performance.”

It wants councillors to stop getting access to confidential and material from the co-op “as such access compromises the council’s ability to be independently objective”.

“The council should as far as practicable draw on publicly available information and independent performance assessments. It should seek independent analysis as required,” the steering group says.

It also wants the council’s operating framework to change “so it can deliver its functions more efficiently”.

It recommends retaining the current ward structure and the council to be organised into three teams – connection, accountability and guardianship.

Buwalda says the report was prepared following seven months of consultation with Fonterra farmer suppliers, the council and the board.

“We are very grateful for submissions and other feedback from farmers – both through the survey carried out in May and discussions around the country last month,” he says.

“The feedback showed they overwhelmingly want a strong and capable council to effectively represent their interests, but also need to see significant change in the way the council operates in order to meet their expectations.”


More like this

Payout lifts

The forecast milk payout for this season has gone up by 40c and Fonterra farmers can thank Chinese consumers.


Back the sector that backs NZ

OPINION: The biggest issue currently facing our industry is environmental policy, writes Beef+Lamb NZ chief executive Sam McIvor.



Lamb price down, but not weak

While lamb prices are starting the new season at around 16% below last year’s levels, they are not outright weak,…

Quota split a major worry

New Zealand meat exporters want the EU and UK to get serious on reaching a deal on post-Brexit quotas.

NZ meat exports at risk

Nearly half of our country’s meat exports are at risk unless there is urgent action by government to allow migrant…

Machinery & Products

Claas cargo wagon

CLAAS has extended the versatility, productivity and user comfort of its CARGOS dual purpose transport wagons with the addition of…

These tractors are pumping

CLAAS has announced it will introduce a new automatic tyre inflation system across its AXION and ARION series of tractors.

Great hay cut at speed

Contractors and farmers on the lookout to mow and condition at higher speeds, while producing better quality hay and forage,…

Fendt enters NZ harvest market

Farm machinery brand Fendt has expanded into the harvester market in Australia and New Zealand, with is Ideal combine harvester.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

He's back!

OPINION: This old mutt understands that former Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings has landed himself a new gig back in his…


OPINION: Your canine crusader understands that the farmer’s favourite politician – Environment Minister David Parker – not content with implementing…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter