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Remaining wool levies go to wool-specific projects

23 November 2010

MEDIA RELEASE

Remaining wool levies go to wool-specific projects


Farmer feedback has generally supported Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s recommendations regarding use of remaining wool levy funds.

B+LNZ Chief Operating Officer, Cros Spooner said the board had sought input from farmers on how to use the remaining $2.8 million of wool levies and a range of respondents had supported the proposal that will see the money split three ways:-
• Funding for four years for B+LNZ information and analysis; market access; and farm related activities that support the wool sector ($450,000 per annum and $1.8 million over four years)
• Funding for two years for Shearing Sports events and Wool Classers Association for classer training ($65,000 per annum, $130,000 over two years) and
• Using the remaining $870,000 plus interest to establish a fund where applications can be made for wool specific projects that are co-funded and are able to demonstrate benefit for farmers
Mr Spooner said 21 farmers made a submission and most gave either full support or qualified support for the recommended use. The Wool Group had also been consulted on this proposal.

“There were a few farmers who would have liked to see the money returned to farmers, but having taken a legal opinion on that, it just wasn’t possible to take that course of action.

“The Board (B+LNZ) has taken the view that this money should be used for activities consistent with the 2003 Wool Levy mandate providing for information transfer, and so it will be used to continue to fund wool information and analysis out of the B+LNZ Economic Service.”

B+LNZ will also continue to represent New Zealand wool interests through market access activity and ensure wool is safeguarded in FTA discussions.

Mr Spooner said there were a number of on-farm activities like the use of the specific wool indices for genetic improvement through Sheep Improvement Ltd (SIL) and the inclusion of wool in initiatives like monitor and demonstrations farms that would be funded.

An industry-good approach has been made by Shearing Sports and Wool Classers and those activities will be funded for the next two years. This funding will focus on maintaining the supply of quality shearers and wool handlers through shearer and wool handler training, and support of the wool classer registration programme.

“There will also be a contestable fund where applications can be made for wool-specific project funding. The final details are now being completed for the application process. These details are expected to be available by 26 November 2010. Applications will have a closing date of 28 February 2011.”

ENDS

About Beef + Lamb New Zealand:
Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd is the farmer owned industry organisation representing New Zealand’s sheep and beef farmers. Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd invests farmer levies to help develop a growing sheep and beef industry providing sustainable returns for future generations. Beef + Lamb New Zealand has four programmes – Farm, Market, People and Information – to deliver innovative tools and services to support informed decision making, and continuous improvement in market access, product positioning and farming systems for New Zealand’s sheep and beef sector.

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