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New Zealand government moves to amend dairy act

28 April 2022

It should allow new farmers to enter the co-op more easily

The New Zealand government said on Wednesday it plans to amend the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA) to support Fonterra Co-Operative Group's move to a new capital structure, reported Reuters.

Fonterra, one of the world's largest dairy exporters, last year proposed a new capital structure that would allow new farmers to enter the co-operative more easily. The move needs changes to the Act to facilitate it. 

"We're proposing a set of amendments to DIRA that strike a balance between recognising the shareholders' mandate for change and enabling the successful function of the wider dairy sector," said Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor in a statement.

The planned changes would enable Fonterra to partially delink farmer-owned shares with Fonterra Shareholder's Fund units; improve transparency around the setting of milk prices for farmers; support liquidity and transparency in the trade of Fonterra shares owned by farmers; and support the co-operative's ability to access capital.

"The Ministry for Primary Industries will be consulting interested and affected parties on these proposed amendments from April through May, and we will consider feedback," O'Connor said.

Source: Reuters



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