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Fonterra Focus on Trade Liberalisation Applauded

Fonterra Focus on Trade Liberalisation Applauded

Fonterra CEO Craig Norgate must be congratulated for the emphasis he gave trade liberalisation in his speech to the International Dairy Federation Symposium yesterday, says Dairy Farmers of New Zealand Chair Kevin Wooding.

"Mr Norgate said a substantial outcome to the Doha Round will give an enormous boost to world dairy trade and consumption," said Mr Wooding.

Trade liberalisation offers New Zealand the prospect of spectacular economic gains. For example, duties paid on $17.06 billion of New Zealand exports to WTO founding nations were $525 million lower in 2000 than they might have been because of Uruguay Round commitments.

"The removal of production and trade distorting subsidies empowers farmers to respond to consumer and market demand and to choose the production system that best suits their skills and farm type."

Mr Wooding was cautiously optimistic about Mr Norgate's statement that domestically the outlook for the rest of the season is "encouraging".

"While Mr Norgate's comments are heartening farmers will not be happy until they have the money in the bank."

"As Mr Norgate alluded to the global environment is challenging at present, particularly the downturn in the US economy. However, farmers are optimists and we expect better returns soon."

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