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A New Marketing Approach for Wool - or a Continnuation of Failed Policies

Greetings Readers

New Zealand farming inspite of good price prospects for the current season remains in a state of uncertainty due to the need for changed structures to process and market its products to improve the medium term prospects for our products and to also ensure we remain competitive in the world market – place.

Wool, Meat and Milk have over the past forty years put vast sums of producer’s money into research and promotion of their products. Meat and wool have funded their spending by levy and milk by payout retention’s and all have had varying degrees of success and failure but the dairy industry is the only sector to retain some ownership of those expenditures.

This weeks meetings to confirm or modify the McKinsey reports recommendations is a continuation of a series of attempts to effectively improve the position of wool as a fibre of choice by the consumer.

A strong element of recent marketing philosophy utilised by many firms has been shortening the production and distribution channel and the retention of the financial benefits of that shortened channel.

NZ farmers have funded by way of levies much of the normal channel corporates research and development and have continued to be excluded from the benefits of improved channel management.

It is for this very reason that cooperation rather than corpratisation by farmers to retain control of the total marketing channel is critical.

The separation of on-farm and off- farm research ignores the benefit of integrated research management from producer to consumer. But without a cooperative structure such targeted research could not be undertaken.

Perhaps the establishment of the fine wool and the romney groups indicate a start in farmers realisation that only by banding together and extending ownership and control of their product to as close to the consumer as possible will farmers gain returns from investments in production research and marketing.

Good farming

The Editor


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