[14 June/NZ Herald]

Former Fonterra Chairman, Sir Henry van der Heyden, has given his backing to the current chairman of the co-op, John Wilson. He said no New Zealand farmer would argue with the current milk price forecast in response to comments from Regional Development Minister, Shane Jones, who said the company should stop being political and instead focus on its business. Fonterra had issued its nine month business update which featured a strong farmgate milk price and also highlighted downward pressure on its earnings. Sir Henry noted he thought Mr Wilson had done a good job. However he said work was needed to improve dividends which would be impacted by high milk prices, its investment in Beingmate and the Danone legal settlement. Current chairman, Mr Wilson, and directors Ashley Waugh and Nicola Shadbolt are due to retire this year by rotation.