Collaboration in the red meat sector is creating
excitement. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Sheep and beef farmers will be asked to vote to support
the farmer contribution for a $65 million programme which the
Ministry for Primary Industries says will ''transform'' the
delivery of knowledge and capability within the red meat
Up to $32.4 million from the ministry's Primary Growth
Partnership Fund (PGP) has been approved for the
Collaboration for Sustainable Growth programme.
It aims to ensure producers have access to and are able to
effectively use the best-available farm and business
management practices by addressing gaps in technology
transfer and ensuring stronger co-ordination between
organisations and individuals working with farmers.
The seven-year programme involves industry participants
Affco, Alliance Group, Anzco Foods, ANZ Bank, Beef and Lamb
New Zealand, Blue Sky Meats, Deloitte, Progressive Meats,
Rabobank and Silver Fern Farms who, following approval and
contracting processes, will match the ministry's investment
and establish a joint venture entity to undertake the
The contribution from farmers is through Beef and Lamb NZ and
will total up to $2.8 million per annum over seven years. The
vote, to be held alongside Beef and Lamb's annual meeting on
March 8, will allow the programme to progress.
Beef and Lamb NZ will be seeking farmer support during the
coming weeks to invest the funds from a combination of New
Zealand Meat Board reserves, Beef and Lamb NZ reserves and
While New Zealand Meat Board approval and support was also
required through a prescribed NZMB process, no levy increase
would be required to support the programme, Beef and Lamb NZ
chairman Mike Petersen said.
Federated Farmers Otago meat and fibre section chairman
Simon McAtamney said the ''real positive'' was that all the
major meat companies were working together with the project.
Hopefully, that would lead to even more collaboration in a
fragmented sheep and beef industry.
''The group must also keep focus on the word profitability
and not get it mixed up with productivity, as for many sheep
and beef farmers lifestyle choices are still more important
than productivity,'' Mr McAtamney said.
Silver Fern Farms supported the programme, contingent on the
backing of farmers, and would be guided by farmer wishes
through the vote, chief executive Keith Cooper said.
''As this is a programme that will be paid for by all farmers
and likely only be utilised by some, it is matter of where
farmers wish their Meat Board reserves and [Beef and Lamb NZ]
levy funds to be directed,'' he said.
MPI director-general Wayne McNee said the programme would
transform the delivery of knowledge and capability within the
sheep and beef sector.
''Importantly, this is the most comprehensive collaboration
of its type ever seen in the red meat sector, and the
opportunities are very exciting,'' he said.
Dr Scott Champion, chairman of the programme's steering group
and Beef and Lamb NZ chief executive, said the programme was
built on the findings of the red meat sector strategy and
would deliver ''significantly'' on the strategy's sector