Farmer pleased to see quality rewarded

Clinton Gorge farmer Peter Wilson said he was delighted those farmers who had stayed loyal to growing quality wool would now be rewarded for their loyalty and perseverance.

"I like it that those who have well-staffed sheds [and maintained] quality in their sheds are going to have some advantage."

Mr Wilson was commenting on Elders Primary Wool announcing the launch of its Just Shorn brand which would be used to promote woollen carpets in the United States through the retailer CCA Global Partners.

He said in the last few years he had been going against the trend of other sheep farmers and had grown his sheep numbers.

"I am committed to this approach. I have hung on to wool and now we are seeing something well worth our support."

Meat and Wool New Zealand chairman Mike Petersen also applauded Elders, but said he was disappointed Elders would be competing for declining volumes of wool at the farm gate with Wool Partners International and existing brokers.

"The farm gate competition model has not delivered wealth over time."

New Zealand companies were relatively small and the costs of launching and supporting a brand and markets were high.

While not advocating a single-seller model, he would like to see greater co-operation.

He also feared that if the returns were as high as Elders was promising, a competing exporter could undercut them.

Mr Petersen said both Elders and WPI had adopted the Wool Industry Network Strategy, initiated by Meat and Wool New Zealand to transform the wool industry.

Elders had recruited two people who had worked on that strategy, a move he applauded as he said this was "the last throw of the dice" to save the strong wool industry.

"It's going to take dollars a kilo, not cents a kilo, to make a difference."


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