As supplying shareholders will have longer time frames to sell their shares, and we know that ownership arrangements are often restructured or changed on retirement, we will enable these farmers to transfer their shares to a person(s) approved by our Co-op who is related to or associated with them.
We will look to introduce additional guidelines to set out criteria in relation to these “permitted transfer” provisions.
To support the alignment of share ownership and milk supply, the proportion of shares held by shareholders that have ceased supplying the Co-op is intended to be less than 25% of the shares in the Co-op.
We recognise the impact on our existing farmer shareholders in moving to a restricted market, which is why we want to give them a longer timeframe to sell. It will give all existing farmer shareholders greater choice about how long they retain an investment in our Co-op after they cease and should also help reduce any shorter-term sell-side pressure that may arise from the changes.