9 Oct 2012

Farmers seek to limit scope of Fonterra share trading plan

1:46 pm on 9 October 2012

Farmers who opposed Fonterra's trading among farmers plan will be continuing efforts to limit its scope.

The co-operative is planning to introduce TAF next month, after getting majority farmer backing in a vote earlier in year and more recently receiving the final sign off from the farmer Shareholders Council.

It will allow the co-operative's 10,500 farmer-owners to trade shares among themselves and also allow outsiders to invest in the dividend earnings from shares that farmers can deposit in a fund.

At Fonterra's AGM in December, the farmer shareholders will have another chance to approve a constitutional change lowering the limit on the size of that fund.

That's after the change proposed in Resolution Two narrowly failed to get the 75% support it needed in the last vote.

Lachlan McKenzie, one of the farmers who still see TAF as a threat to farmer control of the co-operative, says they will be pushing to ensure that constitutional safeguard is put in place.

He says they want the cap on outside investors lowered from 25% to 20%, and a reduction in the amount of dry shares individual farmers can have, to considerably less than the 100% proposed at present.

Mr McKenzie has also criticised the Shareholders Council for giving TAF its final approval before farmers have the chance to vote on the constitutional changes.