The Fonterra Shareholders’ Council wants to implement structural and procedural changes recommended by the recent steering group review as quickly as possible, chair James Barron says.
“As a large number of the recommendations involve interaction with others in the co-operative, such as the board, management and shareholders, we want to get started quickly,” he said.
Barron says implementing the review’s 27 highlights will go a long way to addressing the concerns of farmers expressed in the three remits to the annual meeting by Lumsden-based Tony Paterson.
Paterson proposed alternative council reforms and to cut its annual budget by $1 million.
They received between 35% and 40% voter support, short of the 50% needed to override the usual procedural remit about the council.
The council’s 2021 budget of $3.15m and work plan was approved by 75%.
Barron says the council would meet shortly to review Fonterra’s first-quarter performance and after that meeting it would send a quarterly update to all shareholders.
The changes in the council are designed to give more teeth to the co-operative’s watchdog, put some distance between it and the company to avoid conflict of interest and considerably improve the council’s interactions with farmers.