28 Oct 2010

Group urges Alliance to let farmers decide on possible merger

2:27 pm on 28 October 2010

The leader of a farmer group lobbying for change in the meat industry, says the South Island meat company Alliance has a responsibility to its shareholders to consider a suggestion by its major competitor Silver Fern Farms to re-visit the possibility of a merger.

Two years ago, Silver Fern's attempt to initiate merger talks failed, but it hasn't given up.

This week the company sent an open letter to farmer shareholders of both meat companies, asking for their view on whether a merge should be reconsidered.

Alliance Group Chairman Owen Poole doesn't think re-opening discussions will achieve anything, but Sarah von Dadelszen, who heads the Realise Industry Potential (RIP) group, strongly disagrees, saying it is a farmer initiative.

She says it's important farmer shareholders of both Alliance and Silver Fern Farms have the chance to make up their own minds about the possible benefits of a merger.