Wool Board separation movers welcomed

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

Agriculture Minister Lockwood Smith has welcomed moves by the New Zealand Wool Board to separate its statutory and marketing operations. "Separation of the board's functions will allow the all important marketing and research arm to give greater focus to the international marketplace, which must lead to higher returns to farmers long term," he said. "What's more, the separation means that the marketing and research arm would not be affected should this or a future parliament decide to remove the statutory powers of producer boards.

I believe the board is moving in a very sensible direction." Dr Smith told the Dairy Expo in Hamilton last month that producer boards' statutory powers would inevitably go. In his speech to the expo, he urged producer boards not to waste resources resisting that change because "you will lose". He urged the industries concerned to "lead the change" to ensure it took place over a timeframe and in a way which worked for them. The critical issue was maintaining the marketing strength of boards not whether they continue to have statutory powers.

"The wool board is to be commended for today's announcement and for its sensible approach to the future," Dr Smith said today.