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Farmlands announces Tanya Houghton as new CEO

CEO Tanya HoughtonFarmlands has today announced the appointment of Tanya Houghton as Chief Executive Officer - the first woman to hold this position in the organisation's history.

Houghton brings extensive experience in change management and leadership across the retail, animal and human health sectors across New Zealand and Australia, combined with in-depth ASX200 C Suite experience from across a variety of business ownership structures and models, private, private equity, ASX and joint venture.

 

Houghton says she is excited to lead New Zealand's largest farmer-owned rural supplier.

"Farmlands is an iconic New Zealand company with a rich and successful history. Always driven to grow shareholder success, we need to continue to leverage efficiencies put in place as a result of a challenging 2020 and keep looking forward to create financial measures of performance which achieve greater long-term value for all of our shareholders."

In 2020, Farmlands made a number of non-financial commitments to shareholders that would help grow the business and shareholder return, including commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by at least 30% by 2030, further driving health, safety and wellbeing measures for its people and industry, and seeking partnerships that focus on primary sector innovation for future proofing the sector for impending change.

 

Farmlands Chairman Rob Hewett said Houghton was chosen for her ability to drive this change.

"Tanya is a passionate Kiwi, committed to creating environments where diversity and equality, Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) and the concept of Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) are pivotal to the corporate agenda. She will ensure that these concepts are understood and engaged in to deliver sector leadership and enhanced long-term shareholder value."

Farmers across the country are adjusting to new regulations and are facing challenges presented by climate change and biodiversity. Tanya is the right person to unite our business and people as we continue to re-invent what a rural supplies and services co-operative should be," says Hewett.

With more than 1,400 staff servicing more than 74,000 shareholders through a network of 82 stores, Farmlands has evolved from the "bread and butter" of rural life, to a top 20 New Zealand company, with turnover in excess of $2.5 billion annually.

 

Houghton has extensive Board and governance experience in Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer roles, gained in both Australia and New Zealand, also having been a Director of Animates NZ Holdings Ltd (JV GXL/ EBOS) and the Petbarn Foundation. Tanya is a member of NZIOD and has completed the NZIOD and ACID Company Directors Course.

While Houghton's start date is still to be confirmed, she will be taking over from Acting CEO Kevin Cooney, following previous CEO Peter Reidie's resignation in March this year after five years in the role.