10 Nov 2010

Silver Fern gleans some support for merger

7:39 am on 10 November 2010

The Silver Fern Farms meat co-operative says it has some farmer support for the idea of resurrecting merger discussions with rival co-operative Alliance Group.

However, it admits the response it got in a poll was low.

Silver Fern published an open letter to the farmer shareholders of both co-operatives asking them whether an amalgamation should be investigated again, along with the joint development of a strategic plan.

It received 517 replies - a very low response from a combined total of more than 20,000 farmers.

However, the company says 87% of those who did reply supported the idea. Chairman Eion Garden says that is a clear message that shareholders from both co-operatives have given to their boards.

Alliance has publicly opposed the latest merger move but has agreed to bring it up for discussion at its AGM in December.