The Hobbit can help New Zealand farming


Federated Farmers is hopeful increased lamb production over 2012/13 may offset softer international prices and the high New Zealand dollar.  It is also hopeful The Hobbit may also spur overseas demand for all things kiwi including wool.


"The 2012/13 Lamb Crop may be the third smallest since the 1950's, but being up by 1.9 million on last season is a positive," says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.


"While we currently need grass growth in some key areas, I am hopeful the increase in production may go some way to offset softer prices and that high Kiwi dollar.


"What concerns me are reports of destocking.  If this continues it will make for a more difficult season.


"Being an optimist we now have an international marketing opportunity off the back of The Hobbit.  I am certain that will spur interest in all things Kiwi and we need our exporters to maximise this opportunity.


"Globally, for the next several years, "NZ Inc" will go global in movies theatres throughout the world.  If this is an opportunity for tourism, it is more of an opportunity to leverage New Zealand primary products.


"Let's face it, not everyone will be able to afford a trip to New Zealand, so they can experience New Zealand by what they eat or wear.


"If I can strike one off-note, it seems the red carpet is oil based and not wool.  It seems a lost opportunity given the positive momentum HRH The Prince of Wales recently gave wool growers and the Campaign for Wool.


"I just think of what could have been with a New Zealand wool red carpet given the flock of international media present for the world premiere. 


"That should not take away from the fact that we all celebrate The Hobbit's premiere in Wellington. 


"Sir Peter Jackson is an amazing New Zealander and yes, his movie-making efforts will benefit anything carrying 'our precious' NZ brand on the label," Mrs Maxwell concluded.

- Hamilton News

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