Down on the farm, the nation’s sheep are bedding down with the cows.
However, Woolnet chief Lance Wiggins says a merger is “not contemplated at this stage” and nobody has traded or exchanged shares in each other.
“It seems sense to have the link. We have entered into alliances and we are going to do other things together, such as additional content for the sheep and wool industry,” he says. Planned developments include real-time negotiation and international trading.
The Woolnet wool trading portal, operated by WoolPro, went live in early 2000. It claims more than 1100 farmer clients and more than $5 million of business over the past nine months. The $10 million Fencepost.com launched six months later by Kiwi Dairies claims a 40% share of the agricultural website market. It has several thousand users.
Fencepost.com operating chief Alison Andrew says the link will add to her site's dominance in the agricultural market. It follows the addition of horticultural and livestock to what was initially just a dairy community.
The partnership is just one of several unspecified extra services planned for fencepost.com, she says.