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Wrightson To Compensate For Seed Losses

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-WRIGHTSON

WRIGHTSON TO COMPENSATE FOR SEED LOSSES

Wrightson Chief Executive Allan Freeth today confirmed the company will compensate farmers who have been affected by the swede/rape seed mix-up and he outlined key parts of the compensation package.

Dr Freeth made the announcement accompanied by Wrightson Chairman John Palmer as they visited farms in Southland that have experienced some level of rape in swede crops.

In mid-February Wrightson discovered that a line of the company's Major Plus Swede seed had been inadvertently sold containing Maxima Plus Rape seed. Around 900 farmers throughout the lower South Island had been affected to varying degrees.

"Wrightson has been up-front about the seed mix-up from the beginning and we have been determined to openly and honestly work with farmers to help fix the problem. Our decision to compensate those affected is fair and correct."

Dr Freeth said Wrightson believed it appropriate to compensate farmers for the loss of crop yield, as a result of the rape component, and for fair and reasonable costs directly incurred by farmers from having to manage the effect of the rape.

"Since the seed mix-up was discovered, Wrightson has been providing on-farm consultancy services to assess the effect of the rape on each farmer's crop and to provide advice on how best to manage it."

Dr Freeth said detailed compensation discussions with farmers would begin shortly and the company would be in contact by late June with each farmer affected on the procedure for compensation - including filing claims forms, as appropriate.

"Wrightson acknowledges the need to settle claims with farmers as quickly as possible and we are moving as quickly as we can. The company expects to be able to pay out on a range of compensation claims from July."

Dr Freeth commented that each farmers situation was different and this had made developing a system to measure the economic loss experienced complex. However Wrightson was fully insured for this event and had been working with its insurer on finalising the detail of the claims process.

Information had been sent to all farmer's affected telling them directly about the announcement and they could get further information through the Crop Management Hotline - 0800-66-55-25.

"Wrightson has a long tradition of working with and supporting farmers. With the compensation decision we have made and with our commitment to continuing to work to fix this problem, we are honouring this tradition."

ENDS


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