27 Sep 2012

Farmers say Fonterra result reflects their reality

8:34 am on 27 September 2012

Dairy farmers say Fonterra's lower payout and profit highlights the financial pressure they are under.

On Wednesday, the dairy co-operative announced a final payout to farmers for the 2011-12 season of $6.40 a kilogram of milk solids - a 19% drop on the previous year.

Fonterra also posted a 19% fall in profit for the year to July as an ocean of milk flooded the commodity market, driving prices down.

Federated Farmers' dairy chair Willy Leferink says the results are disappointing but not surprising, and simply mean farmers will be spending less.

He says costs keep creeping up and the high New Zealand dollar has not helped and will be a burden going forward.

Fonterra's annual results also included an $8.2 million final payout to former chief executive Andrew Ferrier, which it says is a wash-up of his previous incentives.

Mr Leferink says farmers might not like that figure, but they must accept it. He says farmers have to realise Fonterra is no longer a small company but a multinational.