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Wide issues for farmers to decide

Wide issues for farmers to decide

The breakdown of the dairy mega-merger negotiations means business prospects for thousands of dairy farmers are uncertain, and ACT New Zealand says farmers themselves should now force the issue.

ACT MP Penny Webster, herself a dairy farmer, says although the New Zealand Dairy Group and Kiwi companies have not been able to agree on merger terms, dairy farmers should grasp the opportunity to have serious questions answered.

“Despite months of preparatory work being done, there are still serious issues unresolved. If nothing else, the dairy companies’ decision not to proceed to a merger allows farmers time to have the issues sorted out.

“There are many matters other than just the valuation of the dairy companies. Some examples of those needing resolution include:

 Whether farmers, instead of the milk companies, should be the shareholding owners of the Dairy Board; and whether such a Board should then be able to buy shares in the milk companies.

 The nature of exit clauses for farmers wanting to leave the industry.

 The position of sharemilkers under any new arrangement; and of course many more.

“Overall, what is really important, is that any new structure enables production to push marketing, rather than the other way around,” Penny Webster said.


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