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Meat & Wool New Zealand announces project cuts

Media Release
4 November 2009

Meat & Wool New Zealand announces project cuts

Meat & Wool New Zealand has announced that it has cut almost $6.3 million in its year-on-year budget for the 2009/10 year.

This means the end of a number of projects and reduced budget for other activities.

This adjustment has been required because of the loss of the wool levy and has been carried out in conjunction with the Meat & Wool New Zealand organisational restructure announced last week.

Meat & Wool New Zealand Chairman, Mike Petersen said the projects to go included those directly funded by the wool levy including Merino Inc projects, Merino best management tools, the Biella Wool Scholarship, AgITO contribution to shearer training, and the wool classer registration programme. These projects had a combined value of $500k. A further $2.5 million is removed from wool technical and enterprise activities and all will cease when the current wool levy order expires in April 2010.

Research and Development projects to stop include Clover Root Weevil ($100k), the development of alternative methods of parasite control ( ($270k), survival and performance of multiple lambs ($183k), forage brassica development ($32k), facial eczema monitoring ($22k) and grazing cattle ($15k).

While some of these projects were to come to an end anyway, these funds are no longer available for reinvestment, Mr Petersen said.

There will be reduced funding for Sheep Improvement Ltd (-$155k) and Californian Thistle research (-$96k). Funding for Monitor Farms will reduce by $52k spread across the 28 programmes.

Direct investment in the Beef CRC has finished (-$376k) although the Beef Profit Partnership on farm supply chain activity would continue.

Mr Petersen said there had been significant budget cuts made to the Market Development activity with $1 million coming out of the Europe programme and $350k removed from activity for sheepmeat and beef in other markets.

The skills and education programme Outstanding in the Field will be reviewed. This project has a budget of $264k. A further $40k of savings have been made within the Skills and Leadership programme.

Mr Petersen said Meat & Wool New Zealand’s contribution, from New Zealand Meat Board funds, to the Johne’s Disease Research Consortia would reduce by $250k.

ENDS

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