Fonterra Cooperative Group will bring forward payments for its milk supply from June as part of a wider plan to improve cashflow for its farmer shareholders.

The world's biggest dairy exporter will make its monthly payments on the 15th of the month from June, compared to the 20th currently, and will make its final settlement with farmers no later than five working days after its annual results announcement. It will also simplify its advance rate guideline from July, starting it at 65 percent of the mid-range for the payout forecast.

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Fonterra chair John Monaghan told shareholders the changes would "help improve cashflow on farm and simplify the guidelines."


Today's announcements are the first in a series of moves to improve Fonterra's advance rate scheme before the 2021 season starts.

It's also working on potential incentive payments as part of its cooperative difference programme - a strategy to increase the importance of on-farm sustainability that rewards farmers who go beyond minimum targets.

Fonterra said the changes won't affect the cooperative's balance sheet or hit its credit rating.

Separately, Fonterra said professional director Holly Kramer will join the board as an independent director from May 11.

Kramer is based in New South Wales and currently sits on the boards of Australian retailer Woolworths and Australia Post. During her management career, she was chief executive of clothing and linen retailer Best & Less, and also held senior roles at Ford Motor Co, Telstra, and Pacific Brands.

"Holly's experience in customer-centred leadership, transformation, e-commerce, technology and multinational organisations will complement the existing collective skillset of our board," Monaghan said.

Shareholders will vote on ratifying her appointment at this year's annual meeting.