As a Fonterra supplier, shareholder and networker, I have spent considerable time in getting to understand what trading among farmers is about and the effects it will have on us, the suppliers. It is therefore of considerable concern to me there is so much ill-informed comment out there in the media.
The anti-Trading Amongst Farmers lobbyists do not appear to understand that those investing in the "fund" are only investing in the rights of the share, not the share itself. These investors will also be aware from the outset their investment will be a passive investment and will not have access to any voting/ influence of any kind.
The ramifications of Trading Amongst Farmers not going ahead are so significant one really must fear the cost to all suppliers of the status quo remaining, versus the advantages to Fonterra/suppliers with Trading Amongst Farmers in place. Furthermore, the restrictions on fund size, percentage of individual suppliers rights able to be made available to the fund, constitutional restraints and the requirement of 75 per cent of shares to change the major elements of the structure, mean that there is no chance shareholders will lose control of our co-operative without actually voting for that to happen.
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