Farmer shareholders vote to revamp Fonterra capital structure


Fonterra farmer shareholders have voted overwhelmingly in support of a plan to revamp the co-operative’s capital structure.

It is one of the biggest votes in the co-operative’s history.

The structure had been proposed because the co-operative is concerned that as milk production falls, more farmers will look to sell their surplus shares to non-farmers in its associated shareholders fund.

The new structure put to the vote makes it cheaper to join the company, and preserves farmer ownership by reducing the number of shares they need to hold.

At least 75 per cent of the 10,000 farmer shareholders had to approve the proposal, and just over 85 per cent have done so.

Now Fonterra needs the government to amend the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act so the changes can be implemented.