Heightened interest in this year's elections for Fonterra's board has been reflected in a big dairy farmer turnout for the first meetings of the election roadshow on Monday.
Eleven farmer representatives are vying for three positions. They include two sitting directors, the chairperson in waiting, John Wilson and Nicola Shadbolt, who are having to stand again at the end of their three year term.
The candidates will be appearing at 11 meetings this week.
Fonterra Shareholders Council chair Ian Brown says there was a fantastic farmer attendance at the first three meetings yesterday.
"Probably nearly double last year at each individual venue. Rotorua, Matamata and Te Awamutu last night we had 150 people there. So - good to see farmers coming along and really interacting with the candidates for the vacancies on the Fonterra board this year."
Mr Brown says the introduction of Trading Among Farmers (TAF) after two years of planning and debate has also stimulated farmer interest in the election.
Farmers are also contesting five seats on the co-operative's Shareholders Council.
Voting closes on 15 December, with the results announced at Fonterra's AGM on Monday, 17 December.