Fonterra has announced the death of former chairman John Wilson, who passed away this morning after a hard-fought battle with illness.
The New Zealand dairy co-operative announced in July that Wilson would step down as chairman to recover, having undergone significant surgery and requiring on-going treatment. He also relinquished his position on the Fonterra board.
Wilson became director of Fonterra in 2003 after serving as chairman of Fonterra’s Shareholder Council.
A former farmer himself, Wilson was also chairman of Milktest NZ – a laboratory that ensures the safety and quality of New Zealand milk – for a decade.
He is survived by his wife Belinda and four daughters. He was 54.
In a note to the co-operative’s farmer-owners earlier today, Fonterra chairman John Monaghan said Wilson was a man whose dedication and commitment to the Co-operative ran deep.
“We owe John and his family a debt of gratitude for all the time, energy and sheer hard graft he gave us as a farmer-owner, inaugural Chairman of the Fonterra Shareholder’s Council on merger, as a Farmer Elected Director from 2003, and as our Chairman from 2012.
“John always brought dedication, commitment, and deep dairy knowledge to each of the representation and governance roles in which he served. On behalf of his fellow farmers he was the ultimate advocate for what we stand for.
“We have lost a friend, colleague, leader and champion for our industry much too soon. Our thoughts and deep gratitude for all that he contributed go to his family and friends,” said Mr Monaghan.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019