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Minister Announces Members Of Wool Taskforce

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 8 NZPA - A taskforce to foster growth in the struggling wool industry has been set up by Agriculture Minister David Carter.

Mr Carter last week said the taskforce was needed as the industry needed to find ways to increase demand for wool, and boost prices paid to woolgrowers.

The decision followed a meeting with 30 leading representatives of the wool industry in the wake of a vote by farmers to axe the levy they pay Meat and Wool New Zealand, an board which carries out tasks the meat and wool growers want to pay for collectively.

Mr Carter today said united action was necessary.

"The role of this group will be to build a cohesive, sector-wide strategy to lift the returns for New Zealand wool," he said.

"Everyone from growers and processors to brokers and exporters is looking for a common solution."

The taskforce of eight would be chaired by Jeff Grant, a former National Party MP, former chairman of Meat and Wool and the New Zealand Meat Board, and a former Landcorp director.

The other members were:

* John Brakenridge, New Zealand Merino Company chief executive and member of the Primary Growth Partnership Investment Advisory Panel;

* Dr Scott Champion, Meat and Wool chief executive;

* Cliff Heath, Wool Equities and New Zealand Wool Advancement Group Inc chairman and a director of Primary Wool Co-operative Ltd and Textiles New Zealand;

* Derek Kirke, a director of New Zealand Wool Services International Ltd;

* Colin McKenzie, chief operating officer of Cavalier Corporation Ltd;

* Sam Robinson, chair of AgResearch and a director of AsureQuality; and

* Keith Sutton, deputy chairman of the Animal Health Board and a director of Wool Partners International and Wool Grower Holdings.

The group would produce an initial report by the end of the year and a second wool industry meeting would be held early next year.

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