Fonterra announced this week that Theo Spierings will step down as CEO at the end of the year.

Federated Farmers Vice President Andrew Hoggard spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay about Speirings' leadership and Fonterra's investment with Beingmate.

Hoggard says Spierings' style of management was "much more focused on the international side of the business," than farmer shareholders, preferring to leave that to the board.

"You could argue that that's how it should be. I guess part of the co-op is feeling the love, feeling the co-operative spirit and whether or not it should be the case or shouldn't be the case, I think farmers do like to be able to connect with leadership."

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Read more: Fonterra CEO's empathy with farmers questioned

Although Fonterra's Beingmate investment "hasn't been great," for Spierings' legacy, Hoggard says there are good things that the CEO has driven, especially when it comes to social responsibility initiatives like Milk for Schools.

Listen below: