'I can help restore trust in Fonterra' - Director Leonie Guiney

Rural Exchange 18/11/2018
Credit: Newshub.

Newly re-elected Fonterra Director Leonie Guiney says she aims to have New Zealand farmers 'proud' of their biggest company again.

I can help restore trust to Fonterra.

"Trust is everything in a co-operative. And it's our responsibility at board level to ensure that Fonterra's owners trust their leaders with their capital."

At this months annual Fonterra AGM only two of three director vacancies were filled – due to the third candidate failing to gain enough votes.

Ms Guiney says New Zealand agriculture is the envy of the world.

"When I worked in Ireland it really crystallised for me that they envy everything we have."

Ms Guiney points to grass farming systems, share-milking systems and an effective co-operative as examples of what sets NZ agriculture apart.

However she warns we've been taking what we have for granted.

"When we allow our reputation in New Zealand to become as sullied as it has. When we put the co-op at risk...We've had some really unbusinesslike decisions in the past few years - I just can't sit by and let that happen."

An independent assessment released last week found that Fonterra had consistently underperformed financially in the 17 years since its inception.

Fonterra leadership have committed to hitting earnings per share of 25-35 cents and reducing debt by $800m this financial year.

Listen to the the full interview with Leonie Guiney above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter's Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.