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DFNZ Tour Shows Dairy Farmer Support For Merger

Dairy Farmers of New Zealand Chairman Charlie Pedersen and Industry Manager Kevin Petersen toured the New Zealand Dairy Group area in the North Island last week to consult with DFNZ members.

Seven meetings - held over three days in Rotorua, Tirau, Tatuanui, Te Awamutu, Ngatea, Pukekohe and Helensville - were well attended by farmers, and structured to allow all members to raise their views and concerns.

"There was a wide range of views amongst farmers," Mr Pedersen said.

"Everything from demands for the status quo and retention of the Dairy Board's single selling desk to the free marketers demanding removal of all legislation and fully tradable shares."

"Despite the wide range of views, there was a huge common middle ground reflecting over 95% of those talked to."

"Dairy farmers' and sharemilkers' are firmly in support for the formation of Merge Co for practical and pragmatic reasons. They also believed that the tradability of dairy industry shares - unless fully linked to milk supply - would cause dairy farmers to lose control of their industry."

"All the dairy farmers who attended the meetings are looking forward to the release of the Business Plan for Merge Co by the end of February. However, they want the Business Plan to be distributed and explained by the Establishment Board, so as to guarantee all farmers receive the same presentations, regardless of the dairy company they supply," said Mr Pedersen.

"As Chair of DFNZ, the commonality of view of the farmers was remarkable, and this provides a clear signal to industry leaders that decisive action leading to the formation of Merge Co would be supported," Mr Pedersen concluded.

ENDS For further information: Charlie Pedersen 06-329-9896 or 025-463-480 Kevin Petersen 04-473-7269

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