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In November, about 2000 farmers will vote on the proposed merger between grower-owned export and marketing company Wools of New Zealand (WNZ) and Primary Wool Co-operative.
Ahead of the vote, Primary Wool will become sole owner of Te Kuiti-based wool broker CP Wool with the purchase of Carrfields Ltd’s 50% shareholding.
Carrfields will be turning its focus on to specialist manufacturing of wool and hemp products through its majority ownership of New Zealand Natural Fibres alongside Hemp New Zealand and other minority shareholders.
The moves were the outcome of year-long talks between Carrfields, Primary Wool Co-op and WNZ, which in total handled 37% of New Zealand’s wool clip, WNZ chairman James Parsons said.
“Growers have been asking for consolidation and now they will get the chance to have their say.
"Together, we can deliver the vision and scale required to make a real difference to New Zealand’s struggling wool industry,” he said.
Primary Wool chairman and CP Wool director Richard Young said the proposed merger marked the start of an exciting chapter for the wool sector and would act as a launchpad for New Zealand to truly realise the full potential of wool.
“This proposed combined business will enable both businesses to realise their potential as a single, grower-owned entity.
“The Primary Wool Co-operative and Wools of NZ boards have been working side by side since late last year to answer the demands of growers for consolidation and develop a strategy to lift strong-wool sales volume and price.
“The merged organisation’s strategy will be underpinned by a shift from wool as a raw commodity to grower-owned-and-branded consumer wool products,’’ he said
Carrfields managing director and CP Wool chairman Craig Carr said the wool industry needed leadership, investment and strategic focus.
“Carrfields has decided that supporting the joining together of the two grower organisations and turning our attention to investing in the future development of wool and hemp products makes good sense strategically.
“In the current fast-moving environment, we want to ratchet up our activity through NZ Natural Fibres and we have a number of exciting opportunities in front of us,’’ he said.
A road show will be held for wool growers next month.