Former Fonterra executive Kelvin Wickham has been appointed chief executive of Ballance Agri-Nutrients.
The announcement comes as current CEO Mark Wynne prepares to leave Ballance after nine years at the end of September, following the company’s annual meeting.
Wickham said he was grateful for the opportunity to lead Ballance, which plays an important role in New Zealand’s economic engine.
“We have a strong foundation as a pioneering food-producing nation built on the innovation and resilience of our farmers and growers.
“It is important to me that we harness the opportunities of global customers and consumers for our communities at home in a way that ensures we have a sustainable, prosperous food and fibre value chain throughout the world.”
Ballance chair Duncan Coull said the appointment reflects the board’s ongoing commitment for Ballance to be fit for purpose in a fast-evolving world.
“Kelvin’s wide-reaching experience in the marketplace, his passion for innovation, strong focus on people and driving performance will ensure the co-operative is well placed to serve the needs of our customers and shareholders into the future.”
The board is confident that Kelvin’s leadership will continue to drive the co-operative’s success, serving the needs of farmers and growers across New Zealand.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Mark Wynne once again for his leadership of Ballance. His efforts and dedication have resulted in long-term achievements that have significantly and positively impacted the growth and sustainability of the business and the food and fibre sector.
“Mark will be missed by the Ballance team, and we wish him all the very best for the future,” Coull said.
Wickham’s long career at Fonterra culminated in him being based in Amsterdam, leading business activities across Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North Asia and the Americas, along with global oversight of the Active Living Functional Nutritional Unit and the NZMP brand.
Prior to that, he was responsible for the business unit NZMP, the biggest dairy ingredients selling and marketing entity in the world.
He has lived in Shanghai where he led Fonterra’s greater China business across the full value chain from farms to brands.
In an earlier supplier and external relations role, he worked closely with farmer shareholders, with responsibility for Fonterra’s farmer-facing teams as well as engaging with key New Zealand government and external stakeholders.