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Quandary for Fonterra directors after contradictory TAF vote

Monday 25th June 2012

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Fonterra directors face a quandary after two-thirds of farmer shareholders voted to support the controversial Trading Among Farmers scheme, but failed to support constitutional changes which were intended to give them protections they said they wanted against possible influence from outside investors.

The first of two resolutions, requiring only a 50 percent majority to allow the TAF scheme to go ahead in principle, attracted 66.45 percent of the vote, which may be sufficient to allow it to go ahead.

Fonterra chairman Henry van der Heyden had said earlier that a bare majority of farmer support for TAF would see the scheme stall.

To help it over the line, the Fonterra board also proposed six protections for farmer shareholders in the dairy cooperative, requiring 75 percent farmer support, but which only achieved 72.8 percent support.

A press conference on the result of the vote, which closed at 4p;m today, is scheduled shortly.

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