[17 April/Rural News]

According to Federated Farmers High Country Industry Group Chairperson, Simon Williamson, the sale of Icebreaker to VF Corporation could leave the New Zealand merino production industry with too many eggs in one basket. Mr Williamson said the companies add up to a big chunk of where NZ Merino Company wool goes and that we used to sell more of our wool to Europe. NZ Merino Company Chief Executive, John Brakenridge, noted that they work with over 50 different local and international brands to deliver value back to growers. He added that Federated Farmers would be better suited supporting businesses like NZ Merino in their endeavours to promote natural wool fibre and the building of markets. Mr Williamson thought there was a lot of stuff to go under the bridge as VF Corporation now have two brands that up until now were competing with one another. He said he believes that there are challenges ahead for the merino industry.