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DFNZ Report To FFNZ National Council

14 November 2000 PR124/2000

DFNZ Report To FFNZ National Council

Dairy Farmers of New Zealand Chairman Charlie Pedersen told Federated Farmers National Council meeting today that dairy industry restructuring remains the stand-out issue for dairy farmers.

"A motoring analogy of our industry structure is an HQ Holden going 100 miles per hour on a country road," he commented.

"The HQ was culturally and mechanically appropriate in 1972, but it is a crash waiting to happen in 2000," Mr Pedersen added.

"Farmers and their increasing milkflow are testing the HQ's 3-speed gearbox and only the Dairy Board's wheels seem to be coping, albeit while travelling in a straight line."

"There remains three options for restructuring the industry: embracing the status quo and putting NZDB shares in the hands of farmers - the rightful owners; forming a single manufacturing and marketing company with deregulation; and splitting the NZDB between the co-ops - the most unpopular option for farmers - so that they could manufacture and market their own product overseas."

"Whatever option the industry takes, the interests of dairy farmers, the ultimate owners, must remain paramount, and they must have the final decision of where their industry goes."

"DFNZ has resolved, after consultation with the Minister of Agriculture and his officials, to use professional consultants to survey dairy farmers once a structural option is proposed, so as to provide evidence for the Government as to farmers' preferred option."

ENDS For further comment Charlie Pedersen 025-463-480

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