Meat & Wool Farmers Need To Be Happy With Board Plans Says Luxton

  • John Luxton
Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control

"It is vital that the Meat and Wool Boards can show you, as growers and owners, that their visions and strategic plans are going to mean that you can take the maximum advantage of the exciting opportunities into the future, and how the Boards can put more money in farmers bank accounts in return for the money that they take out," John Luxton said today.

"Your two Boards are not "single buyer" boards. However they do play a significant role in your sectors. For a start, by your own Federations estimation in 95/96 they levy around 15% of profit before tax. Last year the Wool Board reported expenditure of $85.3 million and the Meat Board about $36 million in 1997.

"At over $120 million in anyone's language that is a lot of farmers money. For example, with that money you could build a new Wellington stadium every year in a provincial town like Dannevirke, Dargilville, or Dipton. Or you could build roughly one and a half 328 metre Auckland Sky Towers in Napier, Nelson, Cambridge or Gore. So it is important that farmers are happy they are getting value for money,"

Mr Luxton said that the meat and wool sectors made a major contribution to the economy. "When times get tough, it has often been the rural areas that have rolled up their sleeves and produced the foundation of the export lead recovery.

"But it is getting tougher to make a good living from the land.Quite simply we cannot continue the downward trend of returns to growers and rural communities. We must take this opportunity for fresh thinking, and ask can we do even better.

"While it is important what Government thinks of the November 15 plans, what I believe is most important is that farmers are satisfied with the strategic direction and vision which your Boards are proposing to take you in to the future.

"A key concern that I have is, rather than the Government making sweeping changes over night, as some assert, the reality will be that Government may not be able to deliver changes as quickly as some of the Boards want.

"After you see the plans of your boards, are you satisfied that the fresh thinking of the Boards on their vision and their strategic direction will help meet the challenges of the future for you and your industry? Are you satisfied that you will be receiving value for your money and accountability? Mr Luxton said.