News and Events

Future Directors learn Core skills

To the Core was a special course designed for shareholders wishing to build their knowledge of how their co-operatives operate and to whet their appetite to develop their rural leadership and governance skills. This was a joint initiative between Silver Fern Farms Co-operative and Farmlands Co-operative.

The three-day course was run at Farmlands’ Christchurch support office, with 23 Farmlands and Silver Fern Farms shareholders from around New Zealand attending the course.

The two co-operatives teamed up because some issues are better solved by working together. The challenge was to get shareholders engaged in the future governance of the companies that they own and with 68,000 Farmlands and 16,000 Silver Fern Farms shareholders, the need for a strong pool of potential directors is critical to the longevity of both co-operatives.

The course had high quality speakers from both co-operatives and the primary sector addressing all areas of governance, including financials, risk management, market disruption, build strategy and more. The panel session with Sir Eoin Edgar, Stuart Heal, Maurice Noone and Juliet Maclean was a particular favourite for the participants, engaging in group sessions about leadership in governance.

Farmlands Chairman Lachie Johnstone says the Board of Directors has a responsibility to ensure that Farmlands is well governed into the future.

“We have had a great response to the programme and we are going to run a second programme next year. This is a clear signal that our shareholders want to be involved in governance in their co-operative.”

One of the programme participants, Brad Tatere said: “If the objective of To the Core is to grow a pool of future directors for our co-operatives then this was achieved. The programme was well constructed and well delivered. It provided participants with an excellent introduction to governance.”