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Consultation for Farmers over Levy

02 April 2009

NEW ZEALAND - Meat and Wool New Zealand says that the aim of the upcoming consultation round is not to convince farmers that the levy needs to be increased.

Chairman, Mike Petersen, says the Consultation 09 document gives farmers options about the activities for levy investment, including the level of funding and the source of funds.

Mr Petersen says that over the next three months Meat & Wool New Zealand will hold over 60 meetings throughout New Zealand to give farmers the opportunity to express their views about what they want the organisation to do in the future.

“We are currently sending out a Consultation 09 document which outlines the activities that Meat & Wool New Zealand could be involved in to support farmers in the meat and wool industry.”

That document outlines a funding range for each of these activity areas and shows a range of spending levels for the next six years.

“At the end of the day farmers will tell us what level of expenditure they think we should undertake, where it should be focused and where the funding should come from,” Mr Petersen said.

“We are not setting out to convince farmers to spend more – it will be their choice. But we will be outlining what their levy has achieved in a number of areas over the past five years and where we believe it would be best used in the future.”

Mr Petersen said he was aware that many farmers did not know how or where their levy money had been spent and what value it had returned.

“We will be outlining some of these achievements at the meetings as well as options for the next six years which we need to discuss with farmers.”

It is then over to farmers to tell us their views either at the meetings or by sending back a response form, he said.

“Once that consultation process is complete in early July we will incorporate what farmers are telling us into a final proposal which will be put to them to vote on in August.”

Mr Petersen said he totally agreed with industry commentators that the focus should be on the quality of the spend rather than the quantity.

“The Consultation document outlines how we propose to carefully evaluate and prioritise which projects the levy will fund to ensure the best investments are made on behalf of all farmers.”

Mr Petersen said he was looking forward to the round of meetings and encouraged all farmers to attend the one nearest them.

A meeting timetable is being sent out with the Consultation 09 document which will be delivered from mid next week.

The document is being mailed out to farmers who have registered with Meat & Wool New Zealand and are entitled to vote on the levy in August.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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