Fonterra Cooperative Group, New Zealand’s dominant dairy processor, said director Michael Spaans has stepped down from the board due to ill health, and has been replaced by Ian Farrelly, who retired from the role last month.
The changes take effect today, Auckland-based Fonterra said in a statement.
Fonterra chairman John Wilson said Spaans’ tireless contribution to the New Zealand dairy industry has been significant both inside and outside the Fonterra boardroom. The company didn’t detail Spaans’ health issues but noted he may stand again when his health improves.
“Michael, a dairy farmer, came up through the ranks, spending time on the New Zealand Dairy Group Shareholder Council and then the Fonterra Shareholders’ Council before building his governance experience outside the industry,” Wilson said. “As a result, his insights and experience are invaluable, particularly on Fonterra’s Milk Price Panel, Audit and Finance Committee and the Cooperative Relations Committee.”
Farrelly spent nine years as a Fonterra director until retiring in December last year, and Wilson said he was a highly qualified director with recent and valued experience on the board.
Fonterra’s constitution allows for an appointment to fill a casual vacancy, and Farrelly will continue as a director until the company’s 2017 annual meeting.