From Whangarei down to Invercargill this week Fonterra’s farmer-shareholders went looking for answers from their co-op’s directors. Its mediocre performance, stagnant dividend and share price, large write-down in China, erosion of equity, and their desire to change boardroom culture and leadership were top of their questions.
Chairman John Wilson and CEO Theo Spierings have been the double act governing Fonterra since 2012. Following Spierings' resignation, Bernard Hickey assesses their legacy as no great success, but also no great failure. It could have been worse, or so much better.
Rod Oram looks closely in his weekly column at Fonterra's losses in China. He is unconvinced by Fonterra's confidence it can turn around Beingmate and thinks the Cooperative needs a change of chairman and culture.
Rod Oram delves behind the scenes of Fonterra's Beingmate debacle in this week's column. He finds the board will have to make a momentous decision that has parallels with Fletcher Building's eventual removal of its CEO and retirement of its Chairman.
Rod Oram has followed a trail of bad management decisions and poor governance to discover why Fonterra is staring down the barrel of a massive writedown on its investment in Beingmate. He raises questions about the role of Fonterra's auditor, PwC, and a stifled culture of debate on its board.
Beingmate, Fonterra's troubled investment in China, is blaming the co-op for its losses, according to a formal letter Beingmate has reportedly sent to Chinese financial regulators in response to their enquiries.
Rod Oram warns in this week's column that Fonterra shareholders should brace for more bad news about the cooperative's disastrous investment in Beingmate Baby and Child Food.
Rod Oram went under the covers of Fonterra's result this week to see if Theo Spierings deserved his $8.3 million salary. He finds New Zealand's biggest exporter has a long way to go to produce more value from its milk and its key Chinese investment is struggling.