Retention of Producer Ownership Thursday, Jul 5, 2001
ENZA has become a classic demonstration of the conflicts in values between a producer driven cooperative
structure and a corporate based return on capital profit driven structure.
Critics of the Dairy industry’s cooperative structure have made great play of the inability of
producers to fund growth for industry development and pointed to the need for tradable shares.
However, the disaster that is now being presented to individual apple growers as a corporate dominated
marketing structure puts legal expediency ahead of business morality. This is a warning that there
are no conditions where producers should mix ownership of, and responsibility for, the structure
that pays for the products they have processed and marketed with the inducements of innovative
management and marketing conditional on equity investment.
The ease with which the ENZA directors have proceeded to put their organisation ahead of the survival
of growers is a shocking warning that grower’s interests are not the same as the interests
of corporates seeking financial advantage.
The unnecessary mixing of corporate shareholding with grower cooperation has been the downfall of ENZA.
The only folk with a clear objective in the ENZA debacle are the raiders perusing a course of
disruption and dislocation for their own ends and the real producers have been left sidelined, bewildered
and without help, big losers..
What a price to pay for inattention to the detail of ownership.