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Farmer Confidence in Wool Board Hits New Low

Thursday 24th Jun 1999
Owen Jennings
Media Release -- Other

ACT Rural Spokesman Owen Jennings today said Wools of New Zealand are losing the battle over maintaining the Board's monopoly privilege.

"Growers have had enough of being forced to pay 5% of their income each year to the Board and watching their wool prices steadily decline.

"Grower meetings around the country are demonstrating widespread dissatisfaction with the Board and are voting 'no confidence' motions in overwhelming numbers in the Board at those meetings.

"The Board's credibility is also at risk. Its time for those Directors who said that they would resign if Fernmark didn't deliver to honour their undertaking.

"Nearly $300 million has been spent on Fernmark so far, and there is little to show for the investment.

"No amount of gloss and selective use of statistics can hide the fact that exporters have no confidence in the scheme and are saying that they haven't lost a single order through not being Fernmark accredited. In fact, by the Board's own admission, only 20% of wool is sold under Fernmark. Some of this is purchased not for its Fernmark accreditation but for other reasons.

"Growers deserve the choice of whether to stick with the board or keep their income," said Owen Jennings.


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