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New Fonterra CEO

( Federated Farmers is applauding Fonterra Cooperative Group appointing 46 year-old Theo Spierings, as Chief Executive Officer designate. Mr Spierings will succeed Andrew Ferrier, who is due to retire in the coming months.

“In Theo Spierings, Fonterra has secured a former Executive Board member of Dutch dairy cooperative, Royal FrieslandCampina. He has also been Chief Operating Officer for its international consumer products business unit too,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.

“Mr Spierings, who joined Friesland Foods in 1986, helped lay the groundwork for the 2008 super merger of Friesland Foods and Campina. This created a cooperative with revenues of NZ$15.5 billion and 17,000 suppliers across the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

“From a Kiwi farmer’s perspective, Mr Spierings has worked his way up from management trainee to Friesland Foods Acting President. He has worked for what is now Royal FrieslandCampina in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia; all critical and growing territories for Fonterra.

“Andrew Ferrier has done a magnificent job and we are relieved that he will be succeeded by a person who brings 23 years experience within a large international dairy cooperative.

“Mr Spierings understands the psyche and drivers of farmers and the advantages of the cooperative ownership model

“Having left Royal FrieslandCampina in 2009, Mr Spierings has consulted on business strategy. He is currently a Board member of the Dutch based ProPortion Foundation, which helps developing countries turn challenges into business opportunities.

“With a background like this, Federated Farmers Dairy believes Theo Spierings is a great choice to succeed 2011 Federated Farmers Agribusiness Person of the Year, Andrew Ferrier,” Mr Leferink concluded.

Media Release on 17 July 2011 from Federated Farmers



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