Man who made Fonterra

In yesterday’s post on rural people who received Queens Birthday honours I made a glaring omission – John Roadley who received a Member of the Order of Merit for services to the dairy industry.

He was the last chairman of the Dairy Board and the first chairman of Fonterra, overseeing the industry’s transition from multiple local co-operatives to a single, farmer-owned company.

Dairying had risen to the top of the farming sector because farmers controlled their industry, invested in research and then adopted the technology in their farms and dairy plants, Mr Roadley said.

He is the man who made Fonterra and the journey from the Dairy Board to the company under his leadership is a blueprint for change.

He had a clear goal, worked out the steps needed to achieve it and got the support of the people involved at every step. The result is a strong farmer-owned co-operative which is competing globally for the good of its shareholders and the country.

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