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T150 Still In Sight

T150 Still In Sight

Federated Farmers remains optimistic over achieving its target of $150 for a good mid-season lamb, despite this season’s lower than expected farm-gate returns.

“Given the financial pressure sheep and beef farmers are under, reaching our T150 target is more important than ever,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre spokesperson.

“Our industry is expecting yet another tough year, with the forecast average before tax profit for a sheep and beef farm in 2009/10 just $38,900 a year.

“That’s a disturbing 30 percent decrease on last season’s return, which may be compounded by the high New Zealand dollar. The pain being felt by sheep and beef farmers is real so the problems with our industry must be addressed if we are to have a viable future.

“To rescue our sector, we need to think boldly, but more importantly, act boldly to make the most of the opportunities offered by lamb and wool. The current reforms of our sector are too little, too timid and too slow.

“From the Federation’s perspective, farmers can rest assured that much effort continues to be focussed on achieving the necessary changes.

“Federated Farmers also remains hopeful that the recently formed wool industry taskforce will come out with a robust and useful direction forward for sheep farmers in the new year.

“A recent trip to Europe confirmed to me that both farmers and the industry here in New Zealand are missing out on opportunities. It also became clear that we are weak sellers.

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“To change this I believe we have two options, either ‘consolidate’ and/or ‘differentiate’. For the good of the sheep sector, we need to focus on this with some urgency.

“In other words, a fundamental step change is needed in both our meat and wool sectors. I remain hopeful that we will see significant progress in this area next year.

“Federated Farmers goal of achieving $150 for a good mid-season lamb by 2013 was never going to be easy but I am absolutely confident it remains achievable,” Mr Wills concluded.

ENDS

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