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Meat Industry Consolidation

PRESS RELEASE


From

Natural Producers Company (NZ) Ltd


For Immediate Use


18 February 2008


Most farmers have now seen the light and are convinced of the advantages of industry consolidation, according to Natural Producers Company Chairman Murray Rohloff.

The meat co-operative reform group is urging all farmers to support the recent Alliance Group Ltd initiative, which will see a “new single entity through which 80% of New Zealand’s livestock supply is managed, from farm to market.”

Mr Rohloff said he is confident that farmer shareholders of both Alliance and PPCS will support the industry consolidation.

“I have never seen such a sea change in farmer opinion before.”

Since Forbes Elworthy launched NPC’s recommendations to the industry two weeks ago the company has held 14 meetings - Four in Canterbury, nine 9 in Southland and one in Otago. Each meeting was attended by up to 50 farmers and at each meeting at least 75% of farmers supported the NPC plan - most of the rest were undecided. At no meeting were more than 5% of farmers opposed to industry consolidation.

“At most meetings 85% to 95% of farmers present were in favour of the NPC plan for a merger. This result was consistent across both Alliance and PPCS shareholders.”

Farmers in each of the provinces - Southland, Otago and Canterbury - were also consistently supportive.

At one NPC meeting, at the Southern Field Days at Waimumu, there was 100% support for a merger from the more than 40 farmers present.

Mr Rohloff said that NPC was very supportive of Owen Poole’s initiative (Alliance Group Chairman) but is asking farmers to become members and give their proxy votes to NPC to ensure a merger does take place.

“If Mr Poole’s initiative is successful we will use those proxies to support his plan.

“But, if the plan is not successful we will use them to urge Alliance and PPCS to merge, and to adopt the NPC business plan.

“The NPC plan could be looked upon by farmers as their insurance policy for meat industry consolidation.”

The NPC plan is available from jo@naturalpc.co.nz or by phoning (03) 239-5444


ENDS

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