[14 March/NZ Farmer]

Zespri shareholders have voted to ensure active growers have greater control of the co-operative. A share cap will be introduced with growers able to hold a maximum of four shares for each tray of kiwifruit that they supply to Zespri.  This will mean around 8 percent of growers are ‘overshared’, whereas 29 percent were rated as ‘undershared’. Zespri’s Chairman, Peter McBride, said the changes have been in planning for over five years as part of the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project and that without these measures there was a risk that ownership would move away from the current growers who supply Zespri. He noted that there was a target share issue and buyback programme scheduled for the second half of 2018.