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Dairy Farmers' Early Christmas Present

21 December 2000

"A wonderful Christmas present," is how Dairy Farmers of New Zealand Chairman Charlie Pedersen described today's announcement that New Zealand's two major dairy companies had taken a major step towards forming a single mega company.

DFNZ has, often as a lone voice, consistently maintained that dairy farmers wanted a united and co-operative industry, which integrates both marketing and manufacturing activities. "It appears that the merger proposal is a very clear indication that the industry is at long last taking this step," Mr Pedersen said.

"At the same time," Mr Pedersen said, "It is very sobering to be given what DFNZ has been advocating for several years."

"All farmers now have the responsibility to make the merger work and to realise their shared vision. Industry leaders can be congratulated for at last taking a very tough decision. Farmers know that additional tough decisions that still remain."

Mr Pedersen stressed that he did not have any details of the proposed merger, and called on the industry to urgently focus on the issues which had precipitated the reported resignations of two members of the Dairy Board, including the Chairman Graham Fraser.

Mr Pedersen urged industry leaders to keep dairy farmers well informed and involved in the merger process.

"Ours is a co-operative industry that has a very proud history. We now have the opportunity to build a progressive and world-renowned company that will stand on its own."

ENDS For further information: Charlie Pedersen 025-463-480 Kevin Petersen 025-807-987

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