NZ meat must do better -farmers

If New Zealand's red meat industry was a schoolchild, it would be the C+ pupil, Federated Farmers meat and fibre chairwoman Jeanette Maxwell reckons.

While it had massive potential, it also had issues with concentration and did ''not play well with others'', she said.

A call for greater co-operation was a central message of Federated Farmers' discussion paper which has outlined options for reform of the industry.

The paper was released last month to members for feedback which closed yesterday and has now been publicly released.

''While we fight each other, we're missing the point that global protein competition comes from white meat,'' Mrs Maxwell said.

The OECD-FAO expected world meat exports to increase by 19% by 2022 so the need for reform had never been clearer, she said.

Last year, the OECD-FAO said meat prices would remain high in real terms over the next decade. That was due to changing market market fundamentals of slower production growth and stronger demand and it represented the opportunity that New Zealand had.

Federated Farmers had given the industry plenty of time to reform itself but, with falling stock numbers and more attractive land-use options, ''we have to get off the sidelines'', she said.

''This is what our paper is about. It has generated discussion internally among our members but now is the time to take that discussion wider into the media, academia, as well as with the analysts.''

Federated Farmers was not yet plumping for a preferred option. It wanted to be informed by feedback from its members and from the wider industry, she said.

Southland-based co-operative Alliance Group has issued a new share prospectus and investment statement.

Yesterday, company secretary Danny Hailes said the company had reviewed its prospectus last year and the new document was registered with the Companies Office last month.

As a result, a new investment statement had been issued, which was available to any prospective shareholder and existing shareholders who wanted to take on more shares. The offer, for ordinary nominal value shares of $1 each, was continuous.

Alliance Group stopped issuing shares while the prospectus was being reviewed. It had fielded inquiries over the last ''year or so'' from people wanting shares in the company.

Its yield quality contract was an example where suppliers needed to be shareholders to participate in it, Mr Hailes said.

The company would this week be making contact with those people who had expressed an interest in shares. Application forms could be obtained from the company's corporate office in Invercargill.

sally.rae@odt.co.nz

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