23 Jun 2014

Support for new ownership of Elders

1:52 pm on 23 June 2014

The sale of the Elders New Zealand rural servicing company to a South Island agribusiness firm has gone down well with the wool co-operative which has a joint venture with Elders.

The Ashburton-based Carr Group has acquired total ownership of Elders New Zealand from its Australian owners.

The Carr Group has wide interests in seeds, machinery, farming and other agri-business fields.

Managing Director, Craig Carr said it will allow the family-owned group to expand into new areas, including livestock and wool.

The Primary Wool joint venture between Elders and the Primary Wool Co-operative will remain intact and the co-op's chairman, Bay de Lautour said the change of ownership is positive for it.

"We have had a good relationship with Elders and they've put a lot of investment into the branding the "Just Shorn" programme. We see that carrying on and I think the Carr Group are very keen to keep spending money back into the industry.

We'll also find that farmers will relate to the Carr Group as they are already farmers and very involved right through the agricultural industry in the South Island.

So that will resonate with our farmers and I'm sure that we will get far more people joining the co-op as a result, as people get more confidence in Elders primary Wool, due to the new ownership," he said

Bay de Lautour said farmers supplying wool to Elders had been worried about getting paid after hearing reports about Elders in Australia being in financial trouble, so the change of ownership will make a big difference in reassuring them.

He says the Primary Wool Co-op now has about 1,200 farmer members with about 12 a month signing up.