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Wool Board Admits To Under 2.5% Support For Plan

ACT Rural Spokesman Owen Jennings today said that the revelation in today's NZ Farmer that the Wool Board has less than 2.5% support for its latest attempt to pump up wool prices will come as a shock to growers.

"Growers have been told by the Wool Board Chairman that his Board has a mandate to act. Clearly, that is not the case.

"A questionnaire filled in by less than half of the growers who attended meetings held by the Wool Board shows that just 460 of New Zealand's 20,000 wool growers support a proposal for investment in new technology or differentiation initiatives. There is no way that can be taken as a mandate by the Board to embark on yet another expensive marketing plan.

"Phil Verry's Wool Corporation has more support for his proposal than the Wool Board and he has no where near the resources to pour into glossies, expensive PR companies, travel, and hi -tech presentations.

"The questionnaire that growers filled in is a carefully crafted document that in precise terms tells a genuine wool growing enquirer absolutely nothing about the Wool Board's support. All six questions studiously avoid asking the obvious question - "do you support the Wool Board becoming involved in marketing initiatives with your levy money?". It is obvious that the Wool Board knows full well that such a direct question would produce an embarrassingly honest answer.

"The Board must be prepared to let growers determine its future and that of the levy and the reserves in a totally fair and honest manner. It is up to the Minister of FFBB to see that this happens.

"ACT is continuing to talk to the wool growers who have attended the Board's meetings. They are questioning how the Wool Board can claim it has a mandate for this plan.

"ACT is determined to ensure that growers, not the Board, control their hard earned levies," said Owen Jennings.

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