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Ms Houghton replaces Peter Reidie who left earlier this year, after five years in the role, to join Sanford, New Zealand’s largest fishing company, as its chief executive.
In a statement, Farmlands chairman Rob Hewett said she was chosen for ability to drive change that was signalled last year when Farmlands made various non-financial commitments to shareholders to help grow the business and shareholder return.
They included a commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by at least 30% by 2030, further driving health, safety and wellbeing measures for its people and industry, and ‘‘seeking partnerships that focus on primary sector innovation for future-proofing the sector for impending change’’.
“Tanya is a passionate Kiwi, committed to creating environments where diversity and equality, Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) and the concept of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) are pivotal to the corporate agenda.
‘‘She will ensure that these concepts are understood and engaged in to deliver sector leadership and enhanced long-term shareholder value.
‘‘Farmers across the country are adjusting to new regulations and are facing challenges presented by climate change and biodiversity. Tanya is the right person to unite our business and people as we continue to reinvent what a rural supplies and services co-operative should be,” Mr Hewett said.
She had extensive experience at both chief executive and chief operating officer level in Australia and New Zealand business, most recently as chief executive of MoleMap ANZ Group.
Before that, she spent 15 years with Greencross Group, Australasia’s largest integrated pet and vet care company. She also had board and governance experience including as a director of Animates NZ Holdings Ltd and the Petbarn Foundation.
She was excited to lead the country’s largest farmer-owned rural supplier. The co-operative needed to continue leveraging efficiencies put in place as a result of a challenging 2020 and keep looking forward to create financial measures of performance which achieved greater long-term value for shareholders, she said.
Her start date was yet to be confirmed. She will take over from acting chief executive Kevin Cooney who has been in the role since Mr Reidie’s departure.