So called “dry farmers” must be included in a shareholders vote on Dairy Farmers’ restructure plans, according to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Sydney.

Dairy Farmers, Australia’s largest dairy co-operative, has revealed plans to split the business into separate supply and processing entities. The restructure was always subject to the approval of shareholders through an up-coming vote, but now Justice Santow has ordered Dairy Farmers to include the opinion of those farmers who are no longer in the industry.

After deregulation last year, around 500 farmers quit the dairy sector or began working with other milk processors. Dairy Farmers had argued that these non-active shareholders should not be included in the vote.