NZ: Zespri shareholders vote to ensure greater grower control

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NZ: Zespri shareholders vote to ensure greater grower control

Shareholders of New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri have voted to ensure growers have greater control of the organization, according to website Stuff

About 75% of shareholders voted to change a number of aspects relating to Zespri's constitution, the most important centering on who can be a shareholder.

Zespri has proposed a share cap with a maximum shareholding of four shares for each tray a grower produces. At present about 15% of Zespri's 120 million shares are owned by people who are no longer involved in the industry.

Another 5% are held in the name of a different entity to the entity that produces fruit for supply to Zespri, although the two entities are related.

About 8% of growers are considered to be "overshared", in that they hold more than the four-to-one share cap, while 29% are rated as "undershared", the article reported.

Of the total kiwifruit grown in 2016-17, 32% was produced by growers who do not have shares.

Zespri chairman Peter McBride said the changes had been canvassed over five years.

"Without these measures, there is a risk that, over time, ownership of Zespri would progressively move away from the current growers supplying Zespri and undermine the stability of our industry structure," he was quoted as saying in a statement.

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