Speaking at the meeting in Hamilton, van der Heyden reflected on the decisions of its farmer shareholders that have strengthened Fonterra’s position during his time at the helm.
“Creating Fonterra was a massive leap of faith on two levels. We put our faith in a single integrated model – and we put our faith in it succeeding in an entirely deregulated market. I can say without a shadow of a doubt what we pulled it off,” said van der Heyden.
“Fonterra came out of the block with $11.8bn in assets. We have grown that by 28% to $15bn. That’s an outstanding performance," he added.