24 Jun 2014

Support for wool co-op growing - chair

7:28 am on 24 June 2014

Farmer-owned Primary Wool Co-operative is some way off its target of representing at least half the industry but a steady flow of farmers are joining, chair Bay de Lautour says.

The co-op supplies wool through a joint venture with the rural servicing company Elders New Zealand, which has just been sold to the Ashburton-based Carr Group, a family agribusiness operation.

Mr de Lautour said its farmer membership had grown from 800 to 1200 in the past two years, and he believed the new owner's commitment to continuing the Primary Wool joint venture would encourage more farmers to sign up.

"We've actually be getting about 12 a month for the last six or eight months," he said.

"Of course, our aim is always to try and get at least half the (sheep) farmers in New Zealand involved with the co-operative, in which case we'd be able to really speak for the whole industry as one body, and I think all farmers do want to see the industry further merged, so if we can get to the point it would be great."

However, he conceded there was "a long way to go".