Profitability is the focus of the recently announced $65
million Collaboration for Sustainable Growth programme in the
red meat sector, Beef and Lamb New Zealand chairman Mike
In his latest chairman's update, Mr Petersen said he had
received calls from farmers supporting the programme but
questioning why farmers seemed to be always asked to do more
with regards to productivity in the absence of good news and
progress from the wider industry.
There was no doubt farmers had continued to make real
progress in productivity or efficiency gains but, as in any
business, there was always opportunity for ongoing gain, he
''What is not often appreciated by farmers is the incredibly
complex nature of our meat processing sector, with the
reliance on biological and weather-dependent supply,
alongside the need to market all cuts profitably in the
disassembly business which is the meat industry.
''Overlay that with our distance from markets and currency
challenges and we are talking about a tough business,'' he
Up to $32.4 million from the Ministry for Primary Industries'
Primary Growth Partnership Fund (PGP) has been approved for
the seven-year programme.
The farmer contribution was about 30% of the total programme
investment, representing $2.33 of partner support for every
$1 invested by Beef and Lamb NZ on behalf of farmers, Mr
With the other 70% coming from Government and industry
participants, the vote by farmers, alongside Beef and Lamb
NZ's annual meeting on March 8, would enable the programme to
Following completion of the programme, Mr Petersen believed
the following would be achieved:
• The ''social science'' part of the programme would provide
valuable insights into how farmers learn and want to receive
• Farmers would have access to real-time benchmarking to
evaluate how their business was performing relative to others
in the area, on the same class of land and right across New
Zealand as well.
• The benchmarking would use common language that was agreed
across the industry to allow meaningful evaluation of on-farm
• The ability to analyse farm business management and
performance would be greatly enhanced, flowing on to a
greater understanding about how the wider industry operated
• The same tools and services would be available through and
supported by a much wider group including advisers, meat
company representatives, banks and other service providers
• The industry would be future-proofed, with the enhancement
of its image and reputation as environmentally friendly,
ethical and safe food producers.