The Council's role

The functions of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Council are set out in clause 16 of the Fonterra Constitution, and include:

The Council reports on its view of the Company’s direction, performance and operations.

Each season the Council reviews the Board’s Statement of Intentions (SOI) for the performance and operations of Fonterra. It tracks performance against budgeted SOI targets for key performance measures.

The Council meets regularly with the Board and Management to discuss Fonterra’s performance. Each year the Council reports to all Shareholders with an assessment of Fonterra’s performance and operations for the season.

The Council represents the views of Fonterra farmer shareholders. The Council consults frequently with farmers, and meets regularly with the Board to ensure Shareholders’ voices are heard and considered.

This is particularly important when major change is proposed or significant issues are being addressed. The Council also provides a Shareholder perspective when new policy is being developed.

The Council provides learning and development opportunities for Fonterra Shareholders to increase understanding of the Co-operative and its operations. It also administers training programmes for prospective Directors and Councillors.

The Council appoints an independent Milk Commissioner, in consultation with the Minister for Primary industries, to consider and facilitate resolution of Shareholder complaints with the Co-operative.

The Council also has the right to make two appointments to the Milk Price Panel, which provides assurances to the Board as to the governance of the Milk Price and the Milk Price Manual, and the proper application of the Milk Price Principles.

The Council determines the Directors’ Election process and sets the rules for the Fonterra Director and Directors’ Remuneration Committee Elections. It appoints an independent Returning Officer to provide election services for these Elections.

The Fonterra Shareholders’ Council meets at least six times a year to conduct business, debate and determine policy, and receive updates on relevant Co-operative matters from members of the Board and Management.

The Council’s annual work programme is determined by its core functions set out in the Fonterra Constitution and by topical issues of importance for Fonterra Shareholders.

Workstreams, including policy development, are considered and formulated by three committees – Performance, Co-operative Culture, and Governance and Ethics – before recommendations are put to the full Council for deliberation. Project teams are established as required to address specific issues.

In addition to the three committees, both the Council and Board have representatives on the Nominations Committee and the Governance Development Committee.

Three Shareholders’ Councillors attend meetings of the Co-operative Relations Committee.

The Council also engages with other key stakeholders on matters affecting Fonterra Shareholders, and is supported by an executive team based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Luke Beehre

Northern Northland | Ward 1

Luke was elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2017 to represent Fonterra Farmers in Northern Northland.  He is a member of the Performance Committee and was part of the DIRA working group in 2018-19.

Dean Adams

Central Northland | Ward 2

Dean was elected to Council in November 2019 to represent farmers in the Central Northland ward. He is a member of the Performance Committee.    

Greg McCracken

Southern Northland | Ward 3

Greg was elected in 2016 to represent Fonterra Farmers in Southern Northland.  Greg is a member of the Co-operative Culture Committee and has been a member of the Co-operative Development Committee.

Ross Wallis

Waikato West | Ward 4

Ross was elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2013 to represent Farmers in Hamilton.  Ross is co-Chair of the Co-operative Culture Committee, was previously a member of the Co-operative Culture Committee and served as Chair of the Representation Committee. In 2016, Ross participated in the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme.

Ryan Burton

Hauraki | Ward 5

Ryan was elected to Council in November 2019 to represent farmers in the Hauraki ward. He is a member of the Co-operative Culture Committee.

Malcolm Piggot

Piako | Ward 6

Malcolm was elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2012.  Malcolm is a member of the Performance Committee and has served on the Co-operative Culture, Co-operative Development, and Representation Committees.

Mike Montgomerie

Waipa | Ward 7

Mike was elected to the Shareholders' Council in 2018. He serves on the Council's Governance & Ethics Committee and has chaired it since December 2019.

James Barron

South Waikato | Ward 8

Shareholders' Council Chairman

James was first elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2016 to represent Fonterra Farmers in Matamata. He has served on the Council's Co-operative Culture Committee and Performance Committee and was elected Chair of the Shareholders’ Council in November 2019.

Paulette Johns

King Country | Ward 9

Paulette was elected to Council in November 2019 to represent farmers in the King Country. She is a member of the Performance Committee.

Don Hammond

Western Bay of Plenty | Ward 10

Don was elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2016 to represent Fonterra Farmers in Western Bay of Plenty.  Don is a member of the Council's Co-operative Culture Committee and was previously on the Governance & Ethics Committee.

Gerard van Beek

Eastern Bay of Plenty | Ward 11

Gerard was elected to Council in November 2019 to represent farmers in the Eastern Bay of Plenty ward. He is a member of the Performance Committee.

Matt Pepper

Central Plateau | Ward 12

Matt was elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2014 to represent Fonterra farmers in Rotorua. Matt is a member of the Performance Committee and has previously been Chair of the Governance & Ethics and Budget Committees.

Noel Caskey

Central Taranaki | Ward 13

Noel was elected to the Shareholders' Council in 2011 to represent Fonterra Farmers in Central Taranaki.  Noel is a member of the Council's Co-operative Culture Committee and has been a member of both the Representation and Co-operative Development Committees. He has also served as a Council Representative on the Board’s Co-operative Relations Committee and is part of the current DIRA working group in 2018-19.

Vaughn Brophy

Coastal Taranaki | Ward 14

Vaughn was elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2013 to represent Farmers in Coastal Taranaki.  Vaughn is a member of the Governance & Ethics committee and has previously served on the Co-operative Culture and Co-operative Development Committees.

Dale Cook

Southern Taranaki | Ward 15

Dale was elected to Council in November 2019 to represent farmers in the Southern Taranaki ward. He is a member of the Governance & Ethics Committee.

Robert Ervine

Central Districts West | Ward 16

Robert was elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2016 to represent Farmers in Southern Manawatu, which has since become Central Districts West. Robert is a member of the Co-operative Culture Committee and was previously a member of the Performance Committee.

Andrew Hardie

Hawke's Bay | Ward 17

Andrew was elected to the Shareholders' Council in 2015 to represent Fonterra Farmers in Hawke's Bay.  Andrew is a member of the Governance & Ethics committee, My Connect Governance committee and DIRA Review working group. He has previously served on the Co-operative Culture and Cooperative Development Committees.

John Stevenson

Wairarapa | Ward 18

John was elected in 2017 to represent Fonterra farmers in Wairarapa. He is the Chair of the Performance Committee and was part of the DIRA working group in 2018-19.

Sue Brown

Tasman & Marlborough | Ward 19

Sue was elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2015 to represent Fonterra farmers in Tasman/Marlborough.  Sue is a member of the Governance & Ethics Committee and has served on the Performance Committee.

Geoff Spark

Northern Canterbury | Ward 20

Geoff was elected to Council in November 2019 to represent farmers in the North Canterbury ward. He is a member of the Co-operative Culture Committee.

Mark Slee

Central Canterbury | Ward 21

Mark was elected to the Shareholders' Council in 2018. He is a member of the Council's Governance & Ethics committee and was previously on the Co-operative Culture Committee.

Michelle Pye

Southern Canterbury | Ward 22

Michelle was elected to the Shareholders’ Council in 2016 to represent Fonterra Farmers in Southern Canterbury.  She is co-Chair of the Co-operative Culture Committee and was previously a member of the Governance & Ethics Committee.

Larry Frost

Otago | Ward 23

Larry was elected to Council in November 2019 to represent farmers in the Otago ward. He is a member of the Council's Governance & Ethics committee.

Emma Hammond

Eastern Southland | Ward 24

Emma was elected to the Council in 2014 to represent Fonterra Farmers in Eastern Southland. Emma is a member of the Governance & Ethics Committee and has served on the Performance, Co-operative Culture & Representation, and Budget Committees.

Simon Hopcroft

Western Southland | Ward 25

Simon was elected to the Shareholders' Council in 2018.  He is a member of the Performance Committee.