2009-11-18

Decisive Fonterra result hailed

18 November 2009

Decisive Fonterra result hailed

Federated Farmers is hailing Fonterra’s decisive capital structure result as a victory for the cooperative model.

“At just under 90 percent, it’s a decisive and overwhelming statement for the future of Fonterra,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy vice-chairperson.

“Having attended the annual general meeting, it was clear the Board of Fonterra felt humbled by just how high the approval was.

“The Board has committed Fonterra to the cooperative model. It’s a model that works and a model that will keep Fonterra in Kiwi hands.

“Federated Farmers is delighted to hear this news in what is an exciting evolutionary time for Fonterra.

“Fonterra has been built into the world’s largest dairy exporter as a cooperative and will grow much larger as a cooperative. Farmers are canny business people who see the cooperative model as the way to go.

“We also commend the gusto Fonterra applied in communicating to its shareholders and stakeholders.

“In backing the capital structure review so heavily, dairy farmers are prepared to put their chequebooks where their mouths are.

“We now look forward to stage three and Fonterra’s continued engagement.

“Federated Farmers believes the next stage will follow relatively quickly as redemption risk is elevated by the new structure. That said, the ability to hold shares may mitigate that to some extent.

“The lesson to draw is how important it is to listen to farmers aspirations.

“We can debate the finer points but shareholders will back the Board when they see the Board acting in the best interests of the cooperative. Today is such a day,” Mr Leferink concluded.

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