29 Jul 2008

Debate over in wool industry over integration or promotion

4:27 pm on 29 July 2008

Sheep farming representatives are showing little enthusiasm for a new push to promote cross-bred wool.

A call to resurrect generic promotion has come from the Wool Exporters Council.

It's part of a wool industry group opposed to a joint venture formed by PGG Wrightson and a grower co-operative, Wool Grower Holdings, to integrate the buying, selling and branding of New Zealand's mainstream cross-bred wool.

The council says that's been tried before and won't work.

It says what's needed instead is an international effort to educate a new generation of consumers to use wool for their carpets and furnishings, and it's calling on growers to join exporters in funding a promotion programme.

However, Federated Farmers meat and fibre chairman Bruce Wills says generic promotion was stopped five years ago when the Wool Board was wound up and he can't see growers wanting to contribute levy money towards this again.