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Wool Proposals Welcomed


28 June 2000

Grant Bradfield
Agriculture Spokesperson


Christian Heritage welcomes the McKinsey report on the wool industry. The main recommendations have been called for by many farmers for some time. Dropping the farmer levy from 5% to 1% will give farmers a 10-12c a kilo cash injection ($2,000 annual average). The smaller levy will go towards Research and Development, shearing and wool handling training and other vital activities.

Wool needs to be sold on a commercial basis to be successful and cost effective. While the Board’s generic promotion was generally well done there were two main problems.

1. 'Wools of NZ' never actually sold any wool. The message was simply NZ wool is good please buy it. Without the buyer-seller relationship the essential communication of such things as the requirements of the marketplace and the challenges of promotion breaks down.

2. The large number of traders and processors that handle wool from farm to carpet mean that any value from generic promotion was lost to the farmer who actually paid the bill.

The onus will now be on farmers to set up their own commercial marketing companies. There is a strong case in our view for a large company selling the majority of our strong wool. This will enable us to control the quality and distribution of our wool as well as having a positive input on price.

'Wools of NZ' are to be congratulated on their acceptance of the results of this report. Farmers generally will be sympathetic with the recommendations, as the call for change has at last been heeded.

Christian Heritage believes that industry needs to be run on a commercial basis, and that farmers need to be more directly involved with the promotion of their products. The wool industry is NOT dead. Synthetics have made inroads, but making use of wools’ natural qualities will ensure wool products hold their own especially at the top end of the market.

Contact: Mr Grant Bradfield on (03) 415 8377 or
Party Leader Graham Capill (021) 661 766

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