Farmers urged to have their say

Last updated 05:00 30/11/2013

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The meat reform group Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) is demanding farmers vote at the director elections for the meat processing and exporting co-operatives Silver Fern Farms and the Alliance Group.

Voters have been slow to participate in previous elections with turnouts averaging 22 per cent. MIE chairman John McCarthy said the turnout was akin to a vote of no confidence and an indictment on the red meat sector and co-operative principle.

"Farmer engagement is a key to strong co-operatives, and we shouldn't accept such low levels of voting and shareholder participation."

MIE supports a resolution by shareholders Mark Patterson and Dr Mandy Bell calling on the Alliance board to appoint dairy and beef farmer John Monaghan, a Fonterra director, as an independent director.

Furthermore, former MIE leaders Richard Young and Dan Jex-Blake are standing as director candidates for the SFF board. Incumbent SFF director David Shaw is seeking re- election.

Another farmer with MIE links, Don Morrison, is contesting seats on the Alliance board.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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