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Should Meat NZ and the Wool Board Merge

This topic has had some media discussion following John Acland's suggestion that the two Board's come together into one pastoral producer board.  This followed the McKinnsey report into the wool industry.

There are things that the two Board's do that are common, and many of those are already jointly funded.  eg. Research & Development, The Sheep Council, No. 8 Wired Video's and now the TV program etc.

Farmers probably are thinking.......ah yes, one Board, less levy.  It is not quite that simple.  Money would still be collected on wool to fund wools share.  Wool is a fashion industry raw material, where as meat is a food item in the food and entertainment industries.  They are different.  More and more our Meat products are sold as packed and ready for consumption.  

I think we need to be careful.  Meat New Zealand has made a lot of progress over the last few years.  In particular, now our focus is not so much on Government legislation reform, which it was for the years 1995-1999 we can concentrate on doing the job for Meat farmers.  

Would the wool issue divert our attention away from meat as our core business?  Should we be specialising?  How much really would be saved?  For so long beef farmers have fought to get a "fair share" of their levy funds commited to their species.  They have been the "junior" partner.  Where would Beef be if it is the poor cousin now? 

If we do go down the merger path, and there are some positive points on that side of the ledger, then it must be on the basis of full species accounting and reporting.  In other words, we would need to introduce a commerical divisionalised financial and reporting system so that all industries showed from where and to whom their funding was applied - and then of course reporting on the successes or otherwise of those investments.



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Last modified: February 02, 2001