16 Dec 2013

Peasants warning issued as candidates elected to Silver Fern board

1:37 pm on 16 December 2013

Two candidates who support reform in the meat industry have been elected to the board of Silver Fern Farms, with one warning that farmers could end up as peasants if the co-operatives' influence is undermined.

It follows the election of another farmer associated with the Meat Industry Excellence group to the board of the Alliance co-operative last week.

Silver Fern Farms farmer shareholders have elected Richard Young and Dan Jex-Blake to their board. Both of them want amalgamation of the two big meat co-operatives.

A sitting director standing for re-election, David Shaw, lost his seat.

Mr Young, who farms in Central Otago, says it's a great result.

He says the next step is to get the boards of the two co-ops talking.

"To get to that position where we can have a discussion between the two boards, bringing those co-operatives together is the first part of consolidation for the industry," Mr Young says.

"It is imperative that the co-operatives remain the cornerstone to any solution because if we lose ownership of that value chain, as farmers, we will end up as peasants."