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Shearers Adding More Cost Than Value

2 June 2000

PR47/2000

Shearers Adding More Cost Than Value

Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre Producers Chairman Chris Lester has slammed the Shearing Contractors' Association's call to raise shearing prices by as much as 14%.

"Woolgrowers have always expected shearers and wool handlers to receive their fair share, but farmers are unlikely to agree to this unrealistic price rise," said Mr Lester.

"It's a bit rich for shearers to complain they have not had a rates rise in three years. Woolgrowers are currently struggling for economic survival in an environment of long-term declining wool prices and escalating input costs."

"Given today's wool prices, farmers are at the point where shearing is adding more cost to our wool than it does value."

While farmers and shearers generally enjoy a relationship of mutual respect, this unrealistic expectation on the part of shearing contractors will inevitably badly effect the industry.

"Most woolgrowers agree that quality shearing and wool handling is essential in achieving maximum returns. But growers will be forced to take short cuts in an effort to reduce costs if rates for shearers and shedhands skyrocket. This will have an impact on the quality of the clip and will have consequences for the whole New Zealand wool industry."

"The wool industry is waiting for the release of the McKinsey & Co Wool Industry Development Plan with an expectation that it will identify potential areas to boost profitability. For shearing contractors to expect growers to accept such an increase at this time is nothing short of ludicrous," concluded Mr Lester.

ENDS For further information: Chris Lester (025) 978-424 Maxine Yule (04) 473-7269


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