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Sheep Co Will Need Careful Thinking: Feds

24 August 2000 PR100/2000


Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre Chairman Chris Lester believes that the establishment of Sheep Co will require some careful thinking on the part of the Implementation Project Team and sheep farmers. It has implications for both the Wool Board and Meat New Zealand.

"The McKinsey report, which proposes the dissolution of the Wool Board, also recommends a 1% levy to fund sheep research and development through Sheep Co. Meat and Fibre Producers say that this type of levy ought to be raised via the Commodity Levies Act," said Mr Lester.

"MFP does not support the development of specific Sheep Co legislation. We have discussed this at length with the McKinsey consultants and have the distinct impression that, in retrospect, they tend to agree with our position."

"The Minister of Agriculture has told us that he considers it more appropriate to use existing generic legislation such as the Commodity Levies Act."

"Once a Sheep Co commodity levy covering meat and wool is established, Meat New Zealand's own sheep meat levy could be reduced or eliminated. Sheep Co would then become the principal sheep industry-good organisation."

"The process of applying for a sheep Commodity Levy would allow farmers to determine what activities they wanted conducted by Sheep Co and the amount of levy they were prepared to pay."

"With the exception of the legislative mechanism, I believe this is what the McKinsey report intended for Sheep Co and we would not want to see that intent captured or derailed," concluded Mr Lester.

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

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