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New Wool Venture “Scary”

Media release – 27 Nov 2008

New Wool Venture “Scary”

The lack of a basic understanding by Meat and Wool New Zealand chairman Mr Mike Petersen and by Wool Partners International chairman Ms Theresa Gattung, of how the wool industry operates has been described by the Wool Exporters Council as “positively scary”.

Wool Exporters president Mr John Henderson said today that recent press comments by these two chairmen had only served to confirm the fears the whole industry has that the new wool venture is a disaster.

“Farmers need to know that they are going to be asked to buy into and finance a highly speculative and increasingly risky venture, which is being operated by people with no experience and very little knowledge of the wool industry,” Mr Henderson said.

“I was appalled to read in this week’s agricultural press an interview with Mr Petersen, where he said that Wool Partners International wouldn’t be offering farmers payment guarantees “because nobody else in the wool industry does”. In the same article, Ms Gattung is quoted as saying that her company hadn’t even thought about the subject.

“That is astounding. The basis of the New Zealand wool industry is built around guaranteed payments for farmers. It’s a given. That is why there has never, in the entire history of the industry, been a payment default by an exporter to a farmer for his wool. If these so-called industry leaders don’t have even that sort of basic knowledge then farmers would be wise to steer well clear of any dealings with them.

“Even the McKinsey Report, which got most things wrong, managed to understand the value and importance of the guaranteed payment system.”


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