A leading sheep breeder says an AgResearch offer of
further consultation on its restructuring plan has come too
In an AgResearch letter obtained by the Otago Daily
Times, the organisation said it was looking for more
''face to face opportunities with commercial ram breeders''
to discuss its Future Footprint Programme, answer questions
and ''listen to concerns''.
The letter was sent in response to a remit passed at last
month's Beef and Lamb New Zealand's annual meeting calling on
AgResearch to ''extend its level of consultation'' and
''consult with commercial ram breeders in the North and South
The letter, from shared services business support manager
Suzie Valentine, goes on to say: ''We have had a number of
face to face meetings with farmers in the south of the South
Island and would like the opportunity to broaden the
geographic spread of farmers we speak to.''
Southern Texel Breeders Association president Hugh Gardyne
said while the letter was welcome, consultation with breeders
had been lacking since AgResearch announced restructuring.
''We welcome consultation, but quite frankly where have they
been for the last 12 months?
''Had we not organised the meeting in Gore, which they can
take no credit for other than turning up, there wouldn't have
been any endeavour from AgResearch.''
Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark said if AgResearch was
''serious'' about consultation, it would have got in touch
with breeders earlier and have the project ''on hold'' until
feedback was received.
Instead, AgResearch was moving ahead with its plan, Dr Clark
''It really does appear that they are speaking out of both
sides of their mouths.''
AgResearch did not respond to questions by deadline