18 Oct 2012

Plea for more farmers on Fonterra shareholders' board

5:32 am on 18 October 2012

Federated Farmers thinks there should be more farmer representation on the establishment board that will oversee the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund.

The fund, which Fonterra is setting up as part of its Trading Among Farmers scheme, will allow outsiders to invest in the dividend earnings from shares that farmers deposit in the fund.

On Wednesday, Fonterral announced that former chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, John Shewan, will chair the establishment board.

Two other independent directors, Pip Dunphy and Kim Ellis are also on the board, along with two of Fonterra's own directors, Sir Ralph Norris and dairy farmer Jim van der Poel.

Federated Farmers dairy representative Kevin Robinson says the board is a high calibre one.

But he says the federation would have preferred to have seen at least another farmer on the board - and not necessarily from the dairy sector - to reassure Fonterra's shareholders that their interests are being looked after.