29 May 2015

Some farmers threaten to leave Fonterra

6:50 am on 29 May 2015

Most farmers understand the reasons for the low forecast milk payout but it hasn't stopped some of them threatening to leave the co-op, the Fonterra shareholders' council chair says.

Fonterra logo

Photo: AFP

Ian Brown said yesterday's news brought disappointment, coupled with questions around the reasons why, but that most suppliers were loyal to Fonterra and knew they are at the mercy of global markets.

Mr Brown said he received calls from disgruntled farmers saying they were looking to move to the competition, but he believed they were just venting their frustration.

"I get plenty of phone calls and I guess the majority of my phone calls come from farmers that have a quite strong view on the current situation, as well as some positive.

"I think some of that is perhaps a bit of an over-reaction at the time ... I don't know of many that are genuine in carrying out their comment to me around whether they might leave."

He said the opening forecast payout for next season of $5.25 should give farmers confidence that prices were improving.

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