TAF still leaves control with farmers

The Green Party shows it doesn’t understand business, again,  in its reaction to yesterday’s vote by Fonterra shareholders to approve Trading Among Farmers.

Today’s vote by Fonterra members to accept the proposed Trading Amongst Farmers scheme puts family farmers at risk, the Green Party said today.

“It’s not trading amongst farmers but trading against farmers,” said Green Party agriculture spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“Allowing non-farmer investment does not fit with the co-operative model; it will put the pressure on to increase the return to investors at the cost of good quality farming.

“TAF will create a trade-off between having a higher share price and farmers getting a lower price for their milk.

“Farmers have different interests to outside shareholders. Those farmers working to produce high quality products and improve their impacts on the environment could lose control of their own co-operative.

Goodness me, this must be the first time anyone from the Greens has acknowledged that farmers work hard to produce high quality products and improve their impacts on the environment.

But the second half of that sentence is rubbish.

TAF was designed to ensure farmers retained control of the company so that there would not be pressure to increase dividends and/or share price by reducing the price of milk.

Outside shareholders might have a voice but they won’t have a vote, control remains with farmers.

Fonterra is New Zealand’s biggest company. It is in the interests of suppliers and the country that it continues to grow and prosper.

TAF will enable it do this better without in any way threatening its co-operative structure or the power that lies with its supplying shareholders.

5 Responses to TAF still leaves control with farmers

  1. robertguyton says:

    “Outside shareholders might have a voice but they won’t have a vote, control remains with farmers.”

    Interesting. The voice of those outside shareholders then, is without influence, you are indicating. They’ll not be able to have effective input at all. Do they know that?
    Your view seems very naive, Ele. Equally naive is your similar belief that ‘outside shareholders’ in the assets Key is about to sell off, won’t be able to influence the behaviour of the companies.
    Fairy tales.

  2. homepaddock says:

    Robert – if propsective shareholders in Fonterra do due dilligence before buying they will know the shares they buy aren’t voting ones.

    I don’t recall ever saying that shareholders won’t be able to influence any other companies – the shares they buy will be voting ones.

  3. ploughboy says:

    i think the first reply backs up your post

  4. jabba says:

    woweeee .. the Gweens are now experts on dairy farming .. go figure

  5. phil says:

    Hi Ele
    I suggest you read, or reread some Marshall. McLuhan. One of his
    major propositions was that if you have the voice, you have a great deal of power. The same will apply to the partial sale of state assets. We will have to wait to see who is right and then it will be too late. It’s the corporatization of little ol’ New Zild. Don’t worry though if you are wealthy, you’ll have more in the bank.. to pay for the extra security required.

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