Ravensdown fertiliser co-operative's departing chief executive says a resurgence in farmer support for co-operatives is one of the big trends he's seen during his 16 years at the helm.
Rodney Green says that was brought home to him with the turnout of more than 500 farmers at the recent AGM in New Plymouth.
He says that's a striking contrast to the six farmers who turned up to his first AGM in Eltham in 1997.
Mr Green says the value of New Zealand's farmer co-operative system has been highlighted with Ravensdown's expansion into Australia in the past few years.
"The co-operative model which New Zealand has for farming, I think, is the envy of the rest of the world.
"Certainly the Australian farmers are enthusiastically embracing it with us."
There is strong support in New Zealand for the cop-operative model, he says, as farmers appreciate the control they gain from owning both input and output co-operatives.
Mr Green leaves Ravensdown at the end of the year and will be replaced by Greg Campbell, chief executive of Ngai Tahu Holdings.