25 Sep 2014

Alliance criticised over board terms

3:42 pm on 25 September 2014

The Meat Industry Excellence group has criticised the Alliance Group co-operative for keeping long-serving directors on the board for extra terms, saying it needs an injection of new blood and fresh thinking.

MIE chairman John McCarthy says some Alliance farmer shareholders have contacted him concerned about the co-op's board granting waivers to a long-standing director to stay on for more than 12 years.

"MIE are particularly interested in bringing a new, much needed reform process to the meat industry, and we think newer is probably the way to go. We've had some complaints or some feedback from Alliance shareholders along those lines."

However, Alliance chairman Murray Taggart says board members have every right to apply for a waiver to extend their length of service beyond 12 years - and there is a good reason for that.

"If you just had it as a blanket everyone has to go regardless, that ignores other circumstances that apply. When we look at these sorts of things we, from a board level, have to look at, okay have we got adequate continuity going forward.

"At Alliance we've had all three independent directors change in the last three years, we've had two other elected directors go, so we've had over half the board has changed in the last three years.

"There are other directors will have served their four terms by the end of next year, I don't know what will in terms of waivers or anything at that stage, or whether they'll apply.

"But conceivably, we could be in a situation where I might be the only director left on the board who had served four years or more, and that really doesn't meet the continuity requirement of a a prudent director and a prudent board."

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