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New Merino Company Prepares For First Sale

Following strong support shown by growers during the recent nation-wide vote, The New Zealand Merino Company Ltd will begin its operations this week, with its first sale set down for August 9, 2001.

Establishment Board Chairman Peter Townsend says the Establishment Board is excited about the prospect of moving into the new era, with all interested parties now having agreed to the new venture.

³Exciting times lie ahead, with a grower-dominated commercial company which can continue to invest in marketing and capture market benefits for growers as the industry moves forward,² he says.

In updating growers on the progress made towards getting The New Zealand Merino Company operational, Peter Townsend also says grower support for the new venture will be a key factor in its success.

³The ability for us, as an industry, to continue with market development and innovation is going to be directly proportionate to the volume of fibre that is transacted through this business.

³The New Zealand Merino Company team is highly motivated and confident of its ability to provide significant benefits to those who support the venture in this, its first year, and in years to come.²

New Zealand¹s 700 Merino growers showed support for the new entity during a recent grower vote, with a clear majority supporting the formation of The New Zealand Merino Company.

Andrew Grant of McKinsey also strongly endorsed the work of Merino New Zealand and the development of the new company¹s business plan. Their report acknowledged the higher price relativities for New Zealand versus Australian merino.

At the launch of the new company, Merino growers will converge on Christchurch for their annual general meeting and conference on August 15 and 16, with more than 500 people expected to attend.

In his report to the conference, Andrew Caughey, Merino New Zealand European and USA Manager, will outline the fact that while there are still exacting demands placed on New Zealand Merino fibre in Europe, there is plenty of optimism in the organisation¹s traditional markets at present.

He is buoyed up by the opportunities for New Zealand Merino in the active and outdoors sector of the North American market, which will be a key theme for this year¹s conference.

Ends


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