Over a dozen Westland Milk Products farmers have threatened to shift to Fonterra from the financially troubled co-operative.

New chief executive Toni Brendish has promised to return the co-operative to profitability, but said she cannot offer a better return than in the $5.40-$5.80 per kilogram of milksolids range for this season.

About eight farmers in the Maruia, North Westland region are eyeing up contracts with Fonterra, with a similar number in Canterbury talking of following them.

Maruia farmer Peter Brooker, a Westland supplier, who is not one of the ones threatening to break away, said if Westland could offer $5.64 – 36c less than Fonterra’s payout forecast of $6 – suppliers would support the co-op.

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