Navigation for News Categories

Photo: RNZ

Fonterra - Figure 1
Photo RNZ

Some farmers are apprehensive about Fonterra selling off its iconic brands, but they may consider it if their profits are protected, Federated Farmers says.

The dairy co-operative is looking to concentrate on business-to-business products, and sell off its consumer brands, which include Anchor, Mainland, and Kāpiti.

The plan would need the backing of the co-op's farmer shareholders, who would vote on it.

Federated Farmers dairy chairperson Richard McIntyre said there was an openness to explore the sale, if farmers could still see high returns for their milk.

Fonterra - Figure 2
Photo RNZ

"It shouldn't really impact what we get for our milk," he said.

"If anything it could improve the dividend that Fonterra pays to its suppliers through providing a more-efficient, simplified business."

Farmers did identify with the brands and recognised the added value of their milk going to those products, but it was also about trusting Fonterra to create a resilient business which returned strong profits, McIntyre said.

"It's very hard to survive as a farming business if you're not making any money."

Fonterra - Figure 3
Photo RNZ

Farmers would expect to see "a lot of communication from Fonterra" and a lot more detail about the proposal over the coming months, he said.

"They're obviously going to have to do some more analysis and get some more advice and then put some more detail into their proposal and then present it to farmers."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs