14 Nov 2011

Fonterra Shareholders' Council urges farmers to vote

6:06 am on 14 November 2011

A low voter turn-out in the Fonterra elections has prompted the Shareholders' Council to urge farmers to exercise their rights as the owners of the dairy co-operative.

This year elections are being held for three directors to the Fonterra board and 13 members of the Shareholders' Council.

Shareholders Council chair Simon Couper says with only a day left to vote, fewer votes have been received than last year, which was the worst year on record for voter turn-out.

He says with recent discussions about farmer ownership of the co-op, and trading among farmers, it's more important than ever to vote.

Mr Couper says although farmers own the company, if they want to control it they need to vote for those people who they want to run it.

He says it's important to have the mandate of a strong vote so directors know they have been put there by the shareholders.

Voting closes on the morning of Tuesday 15 November and results will be posted later that day on the Fencepost website.

Meanwhile, two farmer directors on the Silver Fern Farms board have been returned without the need for an election.

Herstall Ulrich and Rob Hewitt were up for re-election, but there were no other challengers.