One of the world's most prominent dairy farmers, New Zealander John Wilson, died this Monday aged 54.
He was chair of Fonterra, the largest global dairy exporter, from 2012 until his resignation over poor health last July.
From his farm in the Waikato region and a second dairy business he co-owned in South Canterbury, Wilson represented farmers at various levels in Fonterra, including during its foundation through the amalgamation of several co-ops in 2001. As chair, he oversaw expansion and international joint venture developments, followed by the crisis of the 2015-2016 global milk price crash.
Until his death, he was listed as chair of Fonterra's governance development committee, which has been working on farm succession.
'Solutions, not problems'
In a message to members, his successor as Fonterra chair John Monaghan said that Wilson was survived by his wife Belinda and four daughters.
"He always looked ahead and focused on finding a way through tough times that would protect Fonterra's farmers, share-milkers and their families," Monaghan said. "Bringing farmers solutions, not problems, was always his mindset."
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