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Historic opportunity for wool growers to take control of their industry
Feb '11
On 16 February 2011 the Wool Partners Co-operative capital raise will close – there will be no further extensions. This offer was launched with the aim of uniting growers in a grower-owned co-operative. Its main objective is to maximise returns for strong wool. This approach has worked successfully in the dairy and kiwifruit industries – it can work in the strong wool industry too!

The capital raise is conditional on getting a minimum level of support; 55 million kilograms of strong wool – a bit less than half of the shorn strong wool clip. We are short of this target.

We have never claimed that our proposal is perfect but it is a solid starting point. From there it can evolve into an organisation that meets the needs of wool growers and the international market.

Despite a very deliberate campaign run against Wool Partners Co-operative and its directors we have continued to take the high ground. The same cannot be said by those threatened by a grower-owned co-operative – they have run a smear campaign opposing the offer. In the process they have offered nothing new but continue to regurgitate the strategies that have failed the industry for the last twenty years.

A return to the status quo denies growers the opportunity to reshape their industry for their benefit. This must not be allowed to happen.

Wool Partners Co-operative Offers

• 100% grower ownership of the co-operative and Wools of New Zealand
• Primary focus on maximising grower returns
• Creation of an integrated value chain and potential ownership of scours
• Growing demand and market premiums through the Wools of New Zealand and Laneve brands
• Delivering premiums to growers
• Contracts and stability of current prices

The Status Quo

• Fragmentation of the industry
• Increasing off-shore ownership
• Continuation of the failed strategies of the past
• Wasteful and obstructive competition between New Zealand suppliers in the international market
• Commodity approach to sales and marketing
• No-one motivated to maximise returns to growers
• Volatility of prices

Unless there is a significant increase in the number of share applications received from growers over the next week it is likely that the capital raise will not succeed.

We have done all that we can to present growers with the best opportunity wool growers have had for a very long time – it is over to you as growers to determine whether you believe enough in the future of sheep farming in New Zealand to be prepared to invest in it. Growers sitting on the fence with a 'wait and see' approach will determine the outcome of this capital raise. Recent prices rises are good for growers but the current model offers no way of stabilising these increases.

Wool Partners Co-operative

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