INDEPENDENT NEWS

Claims Process Begins For Swede/Rape Farmers

Published: Wed 5 Jul 2000 01:39 PM
MEDIACOM-RELEASE-WRIGHTSON-LTD
CLAIMS PROCESS BEGINS FOR SWEDE/RAPE FARMERS
Wrightson has begun sending out compensation claim forms to all farmers as part of the next stage in compensating those who have experienced some level of rape in swede crops.
Wrightson's General Manager International Barry Brook, responsible for the company's seed business, said the farmers involved were now receiving claim forms that they could submit for compensation, together with guidelines on how to do this.
"Wrightson has worked hard to make the claims process as straightforward as possible following feedback received from farmers and discussions with Federated Farmers. The company has also trialed the compensation process with around 20 farmers over the last few weeks.
"The feedback from the trial has been positive. Farmers have told us they see Wrightson is trying to make the compensation process as clear-cut as it can."
Mr Brook said direct compensation offers were being made to farmers who had experienced only modest levels of rape in their seed to make the process as easy as possible for them. However in all cases farmers were welcome to submit compensation claims.
In February Wrightson discovered a line of the company's Major Plus swede seed had been inadvertently sold containing some Maxima Plus rape seed. Most of the 1,000 farmers that had received the mixed seed line were in Otago and Southland, although a few dozen farms in the North Island were also involved.
In the middle of June, Wrightson Chief Executive Allan Freeth visited some of the affected farms. At that time he confirmed that the company would compensate for the fair and reasonable costs incurred by farmers from having to manage the affect of rape in their crops.
Mr Brook commented that Wrightson had been up-front about accepting its responsibility for the mix-up and had been very active over recent months providing advice and on farm support for farmers that had been affected.
He expected pay-outs to the first farmers would begin within the next few weeks.
"Any farmers who are uncertain about any aspects of the claims procedures should contact the Wrightson Crop Management Help Line on 0800-66-55-25."
Mr Brook said the company was determined to resolve each claim consistently, fairly and as quickly as possible. He said that Wrightson was insured for the event.
ENDS
MEDIA RELEASE FROM WRIGHTSON LTD
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