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Brent is passionate about the success of New Zealand based businesses. With a career boasting achievements in operational excellence and operational benchmarking, along with strong experience in sales and marketing in agribusiness, he has held top level leadership and management roles. Alongside his work in consulting and private equity, Brent has taken up governance roles on several NZ boards and welcomes expressions of interest in future directorship opportunities.

Brent currently sits on the Board of Directors for NZ Wineries and Westland Milk Products.

Governance Experience

I have been involved in the Boardroom since age 23 when I made my first capital request presentation to the East Tamaki Dairy board. There would be very few years since that I have not either been a director or an executive with large interaction with a Board.

My governance experience combines both NZ and offshore domiciled boards.

A particular feature has been a number of joint venture boards which have their own unique challenges.

On three occasions I have been Chairman.


Operational Excellence (continuous improvement)

I was the primary leader of the Fonterra Operations continuous improvement programme that has run since 2003. It has savings validated in excess of 400 million dollars in that period with ongoing annual targets of 30-50 million dollars budgeted. Manufacturing costs have been keep stable on a per kg of milk solids basis with the aim to match or better inflation annually. The programme is multi-site (26) with over 86 individual plants covered. It is my view that most businesses have at least 20 per cent of cost (waste) that can be removed over any given 5 year period if subjected to an effective and driven continuous improvement programme.

The key for success in a company is for continuous improvement covering all facets of the business and during 2011-2013 I was on the project governance group for the Value Stream Optimisation project which covered product mix optimisation and integration of customers and supply chain. The budget for this project was 100 million.

As stated continuous improvement is across all sectors. While MD of Fonterra Asia Ingredients I oversaw a sales excellence programme that saw turnover reach 1 billion US dollars for the first time.


Strategic planning

Strategic planning was the major for my Bachelor of Business Studies.

At East Tamaki Coop Dairy the company had a difficult period with falling payout that threatened its existence after heavy costs from the launch of camembert cheese. In 1984 I, with the then CEO and Operations Manager developed a plan to turn this around. In essence instead of trying to compete with larger dairy companies on cost we concentrated on non-standard products for the Auckland food industry. The then CEO stepped down to become financial controller in favour of my becoming CEO and within 2 years we had a payout which was in the top three in NZ and remained that way until my departure in 1992.

Over the past 11 years I have been fully involved in the annual strategic planning at Fonterra so I am well versed in a large corporate strategic planning process.


Health and Safety

This is a particular passion of mine. During my time as GM Manufacturing and Director of Operations at Fonterra the TRIFR (Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate per million hours) within Operations dropped from approximately 60 to close to 10 across a staff of 6000 plus.

More importantly I learnt a lot along the way especially what doesn’t work and what it takes to become great in this space. I welcome a post April 2015 world.

I have experienced a workplace death on my watch and will be proactive to ensure no repeat.


Merger and Acquisitions

I was responsible for the purchase of the De Winkel Yoghurt Company while at East Tamaki Cooperative Dairy.

Proposed and negotiated the successful purchase of the Korean interests of the Korean JV to the Board while working for the NZ Dairy Board as well as transitioned a division of the Indonesian partner to a full subsidiary of the NZ Dairy Board.

While at Fonterra, was Chairman of Civil Whey which was purchased from the founder and converted to a full subsidiary.

As well I was involved in a number of confidential due diligence acquisition projects over the years.


Capital planning and new Technologies

My area of responsibility as Director of Operations covered a capital annual spend of 400-500 million dollars. I led project governance of the Darfield Greenfield project as Director of Operations which was a half billion dollar project.

Worked for two years at the Dairy Research Institute at Palmerston North so familiar with research environments.

Reviewed on monthly basis the disruptive technologies portfolio as Director of Operations.


Risk Management, Compliance, Legal negotiations

With 26 sites as well as technical services/laboratories I have looked after an extensive portfolio of risk and compliance issues.

I had heavy involvement in resource consents especially associated with new plants and farm operations of which I had responsibility for some 20 plus.

I was the lead negotiator in large scale claims with contractors and vendors i.e. in excess of 10 million dollars for some individual claims.

In Asia as MD I was involved in business in many countries with different business environments and legal constructs.

Where a company has a separate risk committee combined with health and safety I believe I would have a lot to offer.


People engagement, industrial relations and Succession planning

I was lead negotiator for the collective with the Dairy Workers Union for over 9 years.

Involved as a senior executive in Gallup people engagement process as well as extensive knowledge of Asian cultures while MD.

Many decades of involvement in succession planning and talent development with the last role covering 6500 staff.


Operational Excellence

Strategic Planning

Private Equity


Health & Safety

Merger & Acquisisions

Capital Planning & New Technologies

Risk Management, Compliance & Legal Negotiations

People Engagement, Industrial Relations & Succession Planning




Brent Taylor & Associates | M: 021 379749 |