Issues aired at MG meeting
MG Marketing’s recent AGM appears to have been the perfect platform for issues to be aired and progress to be made. One core issue rankling growers has been that MG Marketing has started growing crops in its own right and in what appears to be direct competition to its cooperative members.
A grower who has been out-spoken on this issue is Brett Wharf of New Zealand Hothouse.
Brett says that they were generally very pleased with the hearing they were given at the AGM and were pleasantly surprised at the amount of support from other shareholders. “Firstly, I would like to congratulate the board to date.The company has been very successful but this success has created the current confusion.”
Mr Wharf says that MG has been functioning more as a company than a co-operative but that this isn’t always the best for members of the co-operative. He is happy that there will be a review of the mandate the co-op is run under. One of the main questions will be, should MG be functioning as a company or a co-operative.
Remits put forward by Mr Wharf and his associates were not able to be heard at the AGM but the board has undertaken to have a look at these and come back to Wharf in the near future. “As I say, I am pleased with the hearing we got and it is now up to the board to listen to the mood of the shareholders. The view is that by MG having growing operations they end up unintentionally competing with other co-op members. Obviously we are at a bit of a crossroads,” he adds.
Brian Gargiulo, chairman of MG, says that the board will look at the concerns of growers but could place no time frame on a response.