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Fonterra re-jigs governance review

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/09/2016 Fiona Rotherham

Fonterra has put out a re-jigged governance and representation model to its farmer shareholders, with the key change being farmers can directly nominate their own choice for selection to the board.

Earlier this year a proposed change failed to get the required 75 per cent majority vote needed.

The reform would have been the first in 15 years for the dairy cooperative's governance model, though just under 64 per cent voted for a long-awaited review.

The new version still proposes reducing the size of the board to 11 directors from the current 13, comprised of four independents and seven farmer directors.

It also retains the first-past-the-post aspect of the vote rather than the current single transferable vote model and the independent nomination process, while adding a self-nomination process that requires the support of 35 shareholders.

Shareholders will vote on the revised review at a special general meeting in Palmerston North on Oct. 12.

Chairman John Wilson said the fine-tuning was made to ensure farmers can have on-going confidence and trust that anyone can stand for the board at any time.

Under the independent selection process candidate names are kept confidential until they are nominated as a candidate which it's hoped will attract top farmers who have avoided putting their names forward in the past.

Shareholders' Council chairman Duncan Coull said the latest proposal gives farmers more choice by allowing people to sit outside the independent selection process.

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