Meat and Wool New Zealand is no more. From today farmer levies fund only meat and the industry good organisation is now Beef and Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ).
One of the major concerns about losing the levy from wool was training for shearers and wool handlers. However, the ODT reports that training fees have been agreed which could cost farmers as little as a cent a sheep.
Woolhandlers and shearing contractors are hailing the agreement, which will see Tectra set new training course fees to take account of the absence of wool levy funding, which will also ensure the industry can continue to leverage some taxpayer funding for training.
New Zealand Shearing Contractors’ Association president Barry Pullin said how each contractor implemented the new regime was up to them, but it reflected the fact other industries expected their staff to contribute towards training costs.
Those costs would be as little as 1c a sheep, substantially less than the 21c a sheep wool growers paid as part of their wool levy to Meat and Wool New Zealand.
“What’s wrong with that? If we can do it for 1c a head when previously under the name of wool harvesting it cost 21c a sheep, it’s got to be better,” Mr Pullin said.
With wool prices in the doldrums still, a reduction in the cost of training the people who shear and handle it will be very welcome.