3 August 2023
Rob Hewett and Will Clarke elected to Farmlands Board
Farmlands shareholders have re-elected their experienced Board Chair and elected a new Director with a strong background and connection to the co-op. Both Directors are committed to being a voice for Farmlands’ core farmer and grower customers and building on the 60-plus year history of the co-op.
Rob Hewett was standing for re-election after retiring by rotation and is joined on the Board by newcomer Will Clarke, who was previously a Farmlands Board Observer in 2020 and 2021.
Rob received the highest number of votes and has been re-elected for a 3-year term, while Will, with the second highest number of votes, will join the Board for a first 3-year term.
Rob and Will were elected from a strong candidate pool of seven candidates for the two available Board positions. The Farmlands Board noted the overall calibre and commitment to the agri-sector from the candidates, resulting in a tightly-contested election.
Voting closed on Tuesday 2 August. Following a change in the Farmlands Rules approved by the Shareholders last year, it was the first time the election did not coincide with the annual Farmlands Annual General Meeting. Dr. Warren Parker had announced his intention not to stand for re-election after nearly six years’ service as a Director.
As a Farmlands Board Observer, Will was involved in Audit and Risk Committee meetings and in Farmlands’ 2021 CEO recruitment process, gaining hands-on strategic governance experience while engaging with Directors and senior management.
“As a passionate, hands-on dairy and beef farmer from Clinton in South Otago, I’m really looking forward to helping shape a strong and profitable Farmlands. It has been, and will continue to be, an essential part of the success of farmers and growers like me.”
“The sector is facing some challenges right now, like inflation and declining prices, so it’s more important than ever that our farm, orchard and lifestyle supplier has the right product, at the best price, with the best service.”
Will has additional experience within the sheep and arable sectors. He is also a Chartered Accountant, so has a great deal of financial expertise and experience across processes such as financial reporting, budgeting, auditing and tax calculation.
Rob Hewett said that he was grateful that the co-op had demonstrated its confidence in his leadership by voting him in once more.
“I want to thank my fellow shareholders and Board members for placing their trust in me to continue being part of the Farmlands governance team during what is undoubtedly a time of many challenges and much change. It’s a privilege you never take for granted to be part of this Board.”
He was also pleased to see the high quality and diversity of the candidates coming through this year, seeing it as a testament to the strength of the co-op and its ability to attract top-tier talent.
“Through continued dedication to initiatives such as our ‘To The Core’ governance programme, Farmlands has ensured a strong pipeline of talent keeps coming our way into the future,” says Rob.