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Letter To New Zealand Dairy Farmers

From Farmers for a ‘Better Dairy Deal’
www.dairynz.org

8 June 2001

Dear friends and colleagues

We all know our vote on 18 June will be the most important business decision we ever make. It will have a huge impact on the future of our farms and families.

Yet many of us are feeling weary of the whole thing. It’s been going on for so long now, some are saying “please just get on with it. Not another meeting, please!”.

And of course, our leaders are running around desperately trying to show a unified face - when we know that, behind the scenes, things are not unified. But it’s a public relations game. We’re not into that. Nor are we into personally attacking those who have a different view.

We want a strong farmer controlled industry that will deliver good returns in the years ahead. We have an alternative to Global Co that will deliver this.

We’ve had a guts full of dairy industry politics and game-playing, Global Co. changing things to fit daily polling results from their PR firms, and their bullying scare tactics.

On the PR front Global Co will win hands down. But when it comes to rigorous, honest analysis, the information we’re putting out is streets ahead of Global Co.

We all need two things in this process. First, it’s really important that you know what McKinseys really said, because their report does not justify Global Co.

We’re not disagreeing with the strategy – on the contrary, we’re all for growing our value-added businesses!

The problem is that Global Co simply won’t deliver on it. And that’s what the McKinseys report says. And John Roadley, Henry van der Heyden, Greg Gent and the others know it.

McKinseys were emphatic – they said a mega co-op will only work if it meets three sets of ‘must dos’. Global Co doesn’t meet them. That’s the thing that really has us worried.

WE WANT OUR INDUSTRY TO THRIVE!
We have seen how pathetic the attempts have been to rectify the industry’s problems over the past decade. Under Global Co, a lot more can be swept under the carpet and farmers will have less ability to change things for the better.

We want the dairy industry to be run like a business – not a political party. This can only happen if NZ dairy farmers are given all the facts.

We’d be rapt if Global Co’s promises could be delivered. The vision sounds great. But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that Global Co will need a lot more capital before it can realise the dreams you have been presented with.

The strategy requires $4 per kg of milksolids. Where’s that going to come from? Simply merging the industry doesn’t make it any bigger or create any new capital.

Let’s follow logic and good judgement, not faith and wishful thinking. Let’s make the industry’s strategy work. Let’s grow our value-added business and keep control of our processing. Let’s preserve all the great value in the Dairy Board. We can do all these things, but not by Global Co.

If John Roadley would debate these issues openly and directly, we have no doubt he couldn’t defend Global Co. We suspect his spin doctors are trying to shelter him because they know he cannot do the impossible.

We want this industry to thrive. And we know from studying McKinseys report that Global Co’s structure doesn’t fit the strategy.

Vote NO on the 18th with confidence that there are better options.

Give any of us a call if you'd like to discuss any issues. We'd also be happy to send you any information you may require.

Detailed analysis of global co and the better options is set out on our web site – www.dairynz.org

We would encourage you to download the extensive information that is being posted to it.

Yours sincerely


Mark Masters
Hilary Webber
Malcolm Bailey


WE INVITE YOU TO A MEETING AT THE QUALITY HOTEL, HAMILTON ON MONDAY, 11 JUNE AT 3PM.

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