Federated Farmers appreciates the long notice that Fonterra Cooperative Group Chief Executive, Andrew Ferrier, has given to the cooperative. Being New Zealand’s largest company and largest exporter its success is vital to the economy.
“A week on from New Zealand’s most expensive natural disaster, we as a country need to focus on exports,” says Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.
“It’s why not just Fonterra’s shareholders, but everyone should appreciate the long notice that Andrew Ferrier has given.
“This will lead to an orderly managerial transition as the Board seeks the very best candidate from around the world. Many overlook the fact that Fonterra is a major global company so Federated Farmers anticipates a lot of interest in what is a global role.
“We need the cooperative nature of the company to be its focus and we know it is something Mr Ferrier has come to respect and value. There’s a lot of collective wisdom with the shareholders who have built this company into the powerhouse it is.
“The future is a very bright one and that will be Mr Ferrier’s legacy, but we mustn’t lose sight of the fact he will still be around until the year’s end.
“Mr Ferrier has faced some very large curve-balls but both he and Fonterra have faced up to them. Fonterra has responded within a regulatory framework that forces competition by increasing the value of the Cooperative.
“I think I speak for all dairy farmers inside and outside of Fonterra who’ll say he has done a very good job. The latest forecast, announced last Tuesday, is shaping up as the second highest milk in Fonterra’s ten year history.
“This reflects Mr Ferrier’s focus upon adding value to what we farmers produce.
“Suffice to say Fonterra Cooperative Group’s revised forecast is the economic tonic New Zealand needs right now. We need exports that generate value and agriculture is stepping up to deliver that.
“I know Fonterra shareholders are proud of the leadership their cooperative has shown during the recent earthquake. Not just with the immediate $1 million cash donation, but the means for shareholders to donate money individually that will be matched dollar for dollar by the cooperative.
“When you add in the donations of milk and other product as well as making its food grade tankers available for the transport of water, then we are standing up to help fellow Kiwis when they need it the most,” Mr McKenzie concluded.