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Must Wool Continue to Decline in Worth?

Greetings Readers

In all the media interest in the renewed prosperity of farming it seems that the wool industry has been thrown into the corner like a growing child's raggedy-Anne. Once loved and cherished as a great industry - now discarded and ignored.

Other than fine wools coarser wools appeared to have been condemned as hopeless market cases by the McKinsey team. This seems to trigger a rush of conflicting position taking by buyers and traders and confused reaction by producers.

Buyers and traders understandably want to maintain the instability and protect their territories under the auction system. The auction is an ideal environment for any trader working on a margin. Who cares as long as the floor is cleared and the commissions gathered.

To outside observer wool traders are not a reliable group for producers to seek advice from and their prejudice has shown through in their sabre rattling on behalf of the end users can only be viewed as self interest blackmail.

The situation that wool producers find themselves in today is very similar to dairy producers of the 1920's. A few Tooley Street trades circled the dairy coops with take it or leave it offers that were remarkably similar at the commencement of each season. The 100's farmer coops were with limited resources inevitably accepted.

Only with the advent of compulsory purchase component of the Dairy Industry Authority Act was the cartel of "old world" traders broken. A painful and to many unprincipled act perpetrated on behalf of producers who were far from the mainstream of the then other enormously influential pastoral producers of NZ - meat and wool.

It is ironic that the farmer-controlled industry has maintained a steady ascendancy against the continuing relative decline of meat and wool.

Accepting that there are some aspects of a wholly producer controlled industry that has a potential for disaster unless carefully managed the model has much to recommend it in the instance of wool producers.

To pool resources and manage a mix of processed and raw wool sales must have merit when confronted with the alternative of more of the same. More of an unnecessary decline into oblivion.

Good farming




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