Fonterra 'must do better' - Spierings

Last updated 12:10 27/11/2013
Fonterra's 2013 annual meeting is being held in Edendale, Southland.
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
ANNUAL GATHERING: Fonterra's 2013 annual meeting is being held in Edendale, Southland.

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Fonterra had made mistakes and needed to lift its game, chief executive Theo Spierings told shareholders at the dairy giant's annual meeting in Southland today.

Mr Spierings said Fonterra was now in rebuild mode and in a good space with local authorities and customers, as he touched on the botulism scare which hit the co-op earlier this year.

Fonterra chairman John Wilson, talking about the safety scare and recall, said: ''Our systems let us down. We learned a  lesson from a difficult experience.''

There were areas that Fonterra ''must do better'' and work was under way, he said.

Mr Spierings continued that theme, saying: ''We have to make sure we lift our game in food supply quality and sustainability.''

This was not just ''on farm'' but included factory and logisitics.

In regards to the drought he said Trading Among Farmers (TAF) gave Fonterra the possibility to get through a difficult time.

Overall, the Fonterra bosses say it would be an ''oustanding year'' for the corporation, farmers and shareholders.

Mr Spierings said he estimated 2.5 to 3 per cent growth.

The Forecast Cash Payout for 2013/14 has been worked out as: Farmgate Milk Price of $8.30kgMS, with an estimated dividend of 32cps to five a forecast cash payout of $8.62, which would give farmers a record payout.

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- The Southland Times

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