Silver Fern Farms chairman Eion Garden is rejecting suggestions that the company's capital restructuring plan will see the end of the co-operative structure as farmers know it.
The company wants to raise up to $128 million from its shareholders to support its commercial initiatives and fortify the balance sheet.
Former director Lindsay Alderton, who farms in west Otago, says the plan is a breach of a duty of trust by the directors and will result in a sell down of the company.
But Eion Garden says all prudent companies are now going to their shareholders to ensure that they are well capitalised.
He says while Silver Fern Farms has been well served by having a structure using a debt funded business for the last 60 years, the financial world has moved on and the directors understand the need to have a business that the owners are prepared to put equity into.