Troubled dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn (MG) has announced John Spark as the replacement for outgoing Chairman Philip Tracy.
Spark has extensive Board experience across a range of large and complex businesses, including the agricultural industry.
He was previously a Director of Ridley Corporation from 2008 until 2015 and served as Chairman from 2010. Since 2007 he has been a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee at Newcrest Mining. He also previously served on the Boards of ANL, Baxter Group Ltd and MacArthur Coal.
Tracy was at the helm last year when MG retrospectively cut farm-gate milk prices. This move put many dairy farmers in a precarious financial position and led to calls for changes at MG.
Adam Jenkins, President of lobby group United Dairy Farmers, told the ABC that the change allows MG and its suppliers to “move forward”.
“This has been an incredibly tough 12 months for MG suppliers, and the Australian industry,” he said.
Spark said it was an enormous privilege to be appointed Chairman by the Board of MG. “It is a true honour to have an opportunity to apply my passion and expertise to the Chairmanship of Murray Goulburn, a proudly farmer-controlled co-operative that has grown to become Australia’s largest dairy producer and one of the country’s largest agricultural exporters,” he Spark said.
“As Chairman, I look forward to playing a central role at Murray Goulburn and working closely with my fellow Directors and Chief Executive Officer, Ari Mervis, to build a stronger company for the future.”