Meat Industry Excellence has slammed Alliance Group for
rejecting the nomination of Fonterra director John Monaghan
in its upcoming director elections, saying it shows why the
sheep and beef industry is in ''such a mess''.
But Alliance Group company secretary Danny Hailes said Mr
Monaghan failed to meet criteria set out in the company's
constitution and the board of directors had to adhere to that
Yesterday, MIE chairman and Ohakune farmer John McCarthy
issued a press release saying Mr Monaghan, who is also a
former chairman of the Fonterra Shareholders' Council and
lives in Eketahuna, had his nomination rejected on the basis
that his interest in Ngapara Farms, an Alliance Group
shareholder, was too small.
While acknowledging the board's decision was technically and
constitutionally correct, Mr McCarthy said it was
''astonishing'' it should reject a candidate of the calibre
and experience of Mr Monaghan, on the basis of his
''The decision is made even worse given that it was Alliance
farmers who talked John into standing.
''They asked him to help the meat industry achieve the kind
of turnaround the dairy sector had accomplished,'' he said.
Mr Hailes said four nominations were received for the
director elections and, under the the constitution,
eligibility criteria were set out. The constitution, in its
present form, was adopted by shareholders at a meeting in
December last year.
One of the criteria was that a director, or a person
nominated as a director, must directly or indirectly have a
beneficial ownership interest in ordinary nominal value
shares in the company of a nominal amount of not less than
In considering the nominations, the board found that Mr
Monaghan did not meet that particular criteria and he had
been informed of the decision, Mr Hailes said.
''A person nominated either meets the criteria or they don't.
If they don't ... there's no ifs, buts or maybes. The board
has to adhere to the constitution.
''I'm very confident the board has acted entirely
appropriately,'' he said.
Neither of the two directors retiring by rotation and
standing for re-election - Murray Taggart (North Canterbury)
and Jason Miller (Southland) were involved ''in any way'' in
the board decision, he said.
Meanwhile, Gore farmer Donald Morrison has become the third
Meat Industry Excellence executive member to resign in a bid
to chase a position on the board of a co-operative.
The group was formed earlier this year, seeking reform in New
Zealand's meat industry. Last week, Richard Young (Tapanui)
and Dan Jex-Blake (Gisborne) announced they had resigned from
MIE's executive to seek election to the board of Silver Fern
Now, Mr Morrison, who farms in the Waikaka Valley, has
stepped down to stand for the board of Alliance Group.
The trio are all pushing for a merger between Alliance Group
and Silver Fern Farms as a first step to industry
When contacted, Mr Morrison said he had a ''real vision and
passion'' that was needed to turn the red meat industry
around and he was offering a positive vision to farmers for
an aspirational goal they could achieve.
The first part was driving supply back to Alliance Group and
also to the co-operative model in general, and then giving
shareholders ''a clear pathway'' where a merged entity
between Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group was the first
step to reformation.
Mr Morrison said he was ''probably someone who had sat back
for too long, thinking someone will sort this problem out''.
The status quo was clearly not working with shrinking supply
volumes, shrinking company and co-operative profitability,
decreasing farm profitability and increasing indebtedness.
The forthcoming co-operative elections were an opportunity
for farmers to really decide if they wanted change, he said.
''I'm honestly excited about what we can achieve. There's so
much potential ... We just need to unlock that ... and find
the best entity to take it forward,'' he said.
Voting papers will be posted to Alliance Group shareholders
on November 27 and the results will be announced at the
company's annual meeting in Dannevirke on December 13.
Both Eoin Garden, from Millers Flat, and David Shaw, from
Clinton, retire by rotation at Silver Fern Farms' annual
meeting in December.
Mr Shaw is standing for re-election and Mr Garden is standing
down. Nominations close on November 6.