Auckland Scoop

CORRECT: Fonterra appoints Clinton Dines to board

Article – BusinessDesk

CORRECT: Fonterra appoints Clinton Dines to replace Ralph Norris on board

(Corrects name of new director to Clinton Dines in first paragraph, headline)
By Suze Metherell

Oct. 30 (BusinessDesk) – Clinton Dines, a former BHP Billiton executive, has been appointed an independent director to Fonterra Cooperative Group’s board as the world’s largest dairy exporter replaces Ralph Norris.

Dines will join Fonterra’s board after Norris steps down at the dairy exporter’s annual meeting next month, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. The incoming director has experience in the cooperative’s largest market, China, having worked there for 36 years, 21 of which were spent with the mining BHP.
“Mr Dines is well-versed in managing the impacts of global commodity price fluctuations,” chairman John Wilson said. “Fourteen years of his time at BHP were in a buyers’ market where the prices were low, while the last seven years were in a boom market.”

The move comes after shareholders and former directors Colin Armer and Greg Gent called on the dairy exporter to trim the size of the board to nine from the current 13 at the upcoming annual meeting. They say a smaller board would increase efficiency and decision-making.

The cooperative has been cutting its payout to farmers for its farmgate milk price after dairy prices slumped to a six-year low amid increased supply and weak demand. In a bid to save $103 million annually the company has laid off 750 staff across the business, while also rejigging its senior executive management.

Norris, a former Commonwealth Bank of Australia boss, signalled his retirement from the boards of Fonterra and the Shareholders’ Fund manager in May, citing other commitments. Last month Ian Farrelly was appointed to replace Norris as one of the dairy exporter’s representatives on the board of the Shareholders’ Fund manager.

Units in the fund, which give holders access to the cooperative’s dividend stream, rose 0.6 percent to $5.38 and have declined 11 percent since the start of the year.


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