NZ strategy for red meat making excellent progress

Press Release 05/10/2011

The release of the Red Meat Strategy Coordination Group’s first report today shows that significant progress is being made towards charting a new course forNew Zealand’s meat industry, says Katherine Rich Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council.

"The Deloitte report commissioned by the Meat Industry Association and Beef + Lamb NewZealandcomprehensively lays out an exciting path for the industry.

"While the focus is more often honed onNew Zealand’s successful dairy industry, the meat industry in terms of size and export returns remains vitally important to the success of the entireNew Zealandeconomy, Rich said.

"Making the red meat industry more profitable and increasing its returns is critical not just for sheep and beef farmers, but for every single New Zealander.

"Many Kiwis are unaware how dependent our economy is on the success of the meat industry, which currently earns close to $8 billion in export earnings.

"It’s a no brainer. If improvements can be made on farm, in procurement, brand development or cooperative marketing off-shore, the whole meat industry stands to significantly improve its returns for the benefit of all Kiwis," Rich said.

"While there are always some who reject change the time for this initiative has come, she said.

"We sense that the meat industry understands that if it wants to ride the wave of rising commodity prices, it has to do things differently to make sure the industry capitalises on these opportunities.

"This is the first report and there is much work to be done."

FGC paid tribute to the leadership being shown by the Strategy Coordination Group co-Chairs Mike Petersen, Chairman of Beef + Lamb NewZealandand Bill Falconer, Chairman of the Meat Industry Association for their dedicated focus on industry progress.

"Being change agents and encouraging the meat industry to chart different pathways requires courage and determination, particularly in the complex area of farm politics", Rich said.