Stakes in New Zealand's biggest business may soon be up for grabs but some farmers remain determined to keep outside investors out of Fonterra.
The dairy giant has been given the go-ahead to implement the controversial Trading Among Farmers scheme, with around 66% of farmers voting in favour of it.
The Fonterra co-operative will remain in the hands of farmers, but outsiders will for the first time be allowed to invest, in exchange for some of the profits.
The proposal was put to the vote of Fonterra's 10,000 farmer members and two thirds supported it.
But opponents say there is still a large number of farmers against the idea and are vowing to continue the fight, with legal action a possibility.
Farming leader Lachlan McKenzie says the share trading scheme is wrong.
"It's certainly morally wrong, whether it is legally correct or not, I'm not a lawyer," he said.
Fonterra says outside investors are needed for the business grow and to help pay for farmers who want to sell their stake in Fonterra back to the company.
Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden says a number of farmers have changed their opposition to the TAF scheme.
"I've had a good number of farmers ring me, some of them hadn't supported it, but they're saying now the wide majority of farmers are supporting it, they'll get behind the co-operative."
But for those wanting to buy in to Fonterra, it could be pricey. Experts say it is too early to predict what a stake in Fonterra could cost but expect strong demand.
"I think it's got all the right attributes to be a really good long term investment and that's why there'll be substantial interest in Fonterra," Mercer said.
But it is one step at a time as a law needs to be passed by Parliament first.
And while farmers gave the green light to the TAF scheme with 66.45% approval, they did not give the 75% approval for a second resolution needed to make constitutional changes which would protect farmer shareholders.
Van der Heyden told TV ONE's Breakfast that Fonterra would give the second resolution a second look later this year.
"What we've voted on in 2010 is wider limits around dry shares and in the shareholders fund, so we've got a mandate that we can actually proceed," he said.
"What we are going to do, is take that resolution back to our farmers at the annual meeting at the end of 2012."
But it will not prove an obstacle to getting Trading Among Farmers underway, he said.
"We've got the constitutional right today - what we're going to try to do is tighten it up. So that's what was turned down yesterday."
The next annual meeting for Fonterra farmers will be held in November.