McKinsey and Co. recently released the results of its wool industry study that calls attention to several key areas that could change the way Wools of New Zealand operates. Among the key recommendations proposed in the report is the establishment of a new commercial enterprise that would sell New Zealand wool directly and streamline the wool selling system and reduce the wool levy from 5% to 1% as of July 2001.

Also recommended is an option for growers to invest a portion of their share of reserves in the proposed commercial wool enterprise or to take it in cash, and the earmarking of a portion of the New Zealand Wool Board reserves to foster genetic research and development. These recommendations and others mentioned in the report have been discussed at grower meetings throughout New Zealand.

The Wool Board and the Independent Stakeholders Group commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to review the McKinsey report with emphasis on the commercial robustness of the recommended business models. PricewaterhouseCoopers stated that, on the basis of the analysis presented in the report, they believe the strategic direction to be valid and credible. Wool Board Chairman Bruce Munro says the Board supports the strategic direction as detailed in the McKinsey report.