ForFarmers values a good and open relationship with its shareholders and depositary receipt holders in the course of which transparency is the key element. This applies to both members of Cooperative FromFarmers – the Cooperative itself is majority depositary receipt holder of ForFarmers – and third parties who (may) also hold depositary receipts of ForFarmers.
In the Netherlands, some customers of ForFarmers are members of the Cooperative FromFarmers, the majority depositary receipt holder of ForFarmers B.V. These members are not subject to a purchase obligation with ForFarmers.
In 2007, ForFarmers commenced the Registered Equity process with the objective of involving the members of the Cooperative in the growth strategy of the business.
For a period of approximately 10 years that comes to an end in 2017, the majority (approximately 82.5%) of the collective equity shall be registered in the name of the members of the Cooperative.
In 2014 the membership council resolved that the Cooperative shall not register approximately 17.5% of the equity.
Since 2010, the members of the Cooperative have been able to trade the depositary receipts for shares in ForFarmers B.V. on the trading platform of Van Lanschot where third parties can also trade in depositary receipts. This also makes it possible for non-members to participate in the development of ForFarmers B.V.
Contact with shareholders
During the year some one-to-one meetings were held with the members of the Board of Directors and (potential) shareholders. On 18 February 2016 the Board of Directors formulated in summary the policy of ForFarmers regarding bilateral contact with shareholders and posted this on the website of ForFarmers. This policy puts a depositary receipt holder or a potential investor on par with a shareholder and further addresses contact with analysts and the press.
ForFarmers also maintains contact with potential new shareholders. There were various activities for parties who may be interested in purchasing ForFarmers depositary receipts via the trading platform that is operated by Van Lanschot. In addition, a meeting with a number of interested investors was organised at the head office of ForFarmers. During this meeting the aforementioned policy was always observed.
In 2015 the Board of Directors (under the Articles of Association of ForFarmers) attended meetings of the membership council and the annual members’ event of the Cooperative FromFarmers. The information exchanged at these meetings took place on the basis of the preconditions of the aforementioned policy.
Finally, the Annual General Meeting annually takes place, which can be attended by all depositary receipt holders and during which the annual figures are explained.
In the past financial year ForFarmers prepared the financial statements in accordance with IFRS guidelines; the half-yearly figures were published for the first time but were still prepared on the basis of Dutch accounting principles. This took place via a press release and a webcast.
The supply of information to shareholders takes place in conformity with the Dutch Financial Supervision Act. In this way ForFarmers informs its (potential) shareholders of relevant developments in a timely, simultaneous and complete manner. The relevant supervision is exercised by the Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets (AFM).
Price sensitive information is disclosed by means of a distribution of a press release that is also posted on the website of the company and is submitted to the AFM.
The Board of Directors assesses, in consultation with the Compliance Officer, whether information is price-sensitive and whether the disclosure obligation is consequently applicable.
Coverage independent analysts
In previous years, SNS Securities regularly published an analyst report in which the developments at ForFarmers were discussed. At the beginning of 2015, Rabobank also published an analyst report - both about the sector in which ForFarmers is active and about ForFarmers. In addition, the sector analysts of Van Kempen & Co and ING published a report about ForFarmers. Periodic updates were also published.