18 Dec 2012

Challenges foreseen by new director

1:12 pm on 18 December 2012

Fonterra's newest board member thinks the biggest challenges for the co-operative in the next few years will be getting money into farmers' pockets and getting them back on side after the divisions caused by setting up Trading Among Farmers.

Blue Read, a North Taranaki dairy farmer, has been elected to the vacancy on the board created by the resignation of Colin Armer, earlier this year.

His election was confirmed at the annual meeting on Monday.

Mr Read was chairman of the Shareholders Council when the TAF plan was first presented to farmers as part of the company's capital restructuring.

He thinks the form it's evolved into will prove to be an outstanding success, with farmers being able to trade shares with each other and new capital coming in through outsiders being able to invest in dividend rights through the new shareholders fund.

Mr Read said shareholders had shown wisdom by voting for measures at the meeting to put further constitutional safeguards around Trading Among Farmers.

These included lowering the cap on the size of the new Shareholders Fund from 25% to 20% of the total shareholding, limiting the shares they can place in the fund and reducing the shares they can hold above what they need to match their milk supply.