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FF Says No Need For Referendum On Strong Wools

Federated Farmers Says No Need For Referendum On Strong Wools

Federated Farmers' NZ Meat and Fibre Producers Chairman, Chris Lester is opposing another referendum on the establishment of the commercial marketing company Strong Wools. Mr Lester's comments come in response to yesterday's press release from the Wool Board.

"There is absolutely no need for another referendum. Individual growers will decide the fate of Strong Wools by choosing to invest through shareholding and product supply," said Mr Lester.

In the Board's press release Chairman Bruce Munro and Implementation Project Team (IPT) Chairman Mike Andrews say that: * The business plan for the Strong Wools company had yet to be finalised and signed off by the IPT and the Wool Board; * Farmers can expect to receive their copies about the middle of April 2001; and * Growers would then be asked to vote on the establishment of the Strong Wools commercial company.

"Growers gave the Board a mandate to develop a Strong Wools business plan in the referendum last year," said Mr Lester.

"Now it's up to growers to make a commercial decision based on the Strong Wools business plan. There is absolutely no need to hold another referendum."

"I believe this second referendum amounts to nothing more than the Board attempting to obtain a grower mandate to preserve some sort of bureaucracy if the commercial model fails."

Federated Farmers calls on the Board to honour its word.

"They said that they would develop a business plan in accord with the McKinsey findings and let growers determine the future of a wool marketing company. All they are doing by pursuing another referendum is destroying what little credibility they have left with growers," concluded Lester.

ENDS


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