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Farmers Congratulate the Government

09 April 2001 PR 49/2001

Farmers Congratulate the Government

Dairy Farmers of New Zealand Chairman, Charlie Pedersen, said today that farmers overwhelmingly support the Government in its decision to facilitate the dairy merger.

"DFNZ has consistently maintained that dairy farmers want to see marketing and manufacturing activities integrated while capturing the benefits of the Global Dairy Company operating in a competitive environment" said Mr Pedersen

"I recognise that some farmers have criticised the decision to bypass the Commerce Commission" said Mr Pedersen. "But the Government has wisely opted for a path of greater certainty and speed and has accepted the views of farmers that the current situation is not sustainable. There is doubt that the Commerce Commission process could arrive at a structure such as the one negotiated by the Government and even if it did so, the process would take several years" said Mr Pedersen. " We do not have several years to resolve this issue and the Government's proposed regulatory package should go a long way to mitigating the concerns of those who looked for Commerce Commission scrutiny."

" Hon Jim Sutton has already given DFNZ an opportunity to have input into the proposed legislation and I am pleased to see that our concerns have been listened to" said Mr Pedersen. "There may be further issues to be addressed once the finer points of the proposed legislation are before the Select Committee. However we are confident that the Government's proposals, announced today, provide a good platform for building a strong and vibrant company."

Mr Pedersen said that he confidently expected most farmers to support the merger including farmers who are not going to be suppliers of the Global Dairy Company. "Suppliers of Tatua and Westland will no doubt see new opportunities arising from the enhanced flexibility of the merger proposal and its enabling legislation. The removal of the statutory monopoly will keep the pressure on Global Co to perform."

"New Zealanders excel in competition and dairy farmers have a track record of being highly successful. " concluded Mr Pedersen

ENDS


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