6 Dec 2010

Lobbying against wool co-operative bid intensifies

4:46 pm on 6 December 2010

Promoters of the proposed Wool Partners Co-operative say they remain confident of getting the farmer support they need to go ahead with the venture.

Opponents on the other hand, who include wool merchants, brokers and exporters, say they're getting increased business from farmers opting not to join the co-operative.

It needs farmers to commit at least half of the strong wool clip and take up $65 million worth of shares.

Some of that's needed to to buy parts of the existing Wool Partners International business from PGG Wrightson.

Lobbying by wool industry interests against the proposal, has intensified as the extended 17 December deadline gets closer.

Wool Brokers Association president Philippa Wright says there's still a lot of confusion among growers, and she can't see the bid succeeding,

Private Wool Merchants Federation president Shaun Ryan say he's getting a similar message from his members.

Wool Partners Co-operative chairman, Jeff Grant, accepts that some farmers will choose a different option.

But he says it's already had a commitment from farmers who have written cheques to buy shares and it's also encouraged by a survey of 300 farmers it commissioned.