WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The board of the CBH Group has requested the co-operative's grower members to consider an increase in the directors fee cap following external independent advice, CBH said on Jan. 16.

CBH Group Chairman Neil Wandel said grower members would be asked at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) to approve the first increase in aggregate director’s fees since 2008.

Wandel said the proposed increase in aggregate fees to A$1,126,000 represented the mid-point in the range recommended by Gerard Daniels and was considered an appropriate level in the current marketplace for entities comparable to CBH.

"We will be informing growers that CBH's maximum aggregate directors' fees have increased only 5.88% since 2004 compared with a 38.8% increase in wage inflation," Wandel said. "In those eight years, the workload and complexity of matters dealt with by the CBH board has increased significantly. CBH is now a large, complex business in a far more competitive and volatile marketplace.

"Grower members need to be mindful that CBH keeps parity with similar organizations and continues to attract interest from talented and appropriately qualified individuals to join its board.

"CBH directors currently earn a base fee which fails to compete with the fees being paid by companies and organizations of similar size and demands. It is also important for Grower Directors to be adequately compensated for the time and cost of being away from their farming businesses and families.

"Grower directors do not do it for the money but the money helps them offset the cost of labor while they are absent from their farms so they can do it."

Directors do not intend to vote on this resolution because of the potential conflict of interest, other than if they are appointed a proxy for a member who indicates how they want to vote. The chairman intends to vote undirected proxies in favor of the resolution in accordance with the Notice of AGM.

Grower members can get further details on the review of the director’s fee cap and the resolution in the notice of AGM to be mailed to them this week. Members can vote at the AGM on Feb. 28 or return a completed proxy form by Feb. 26.