New Zealand's red meat industry is not ''on the way out''
but innovation, collaboration and development of market
opportunities are needed to lift profitability, Primary
Industries Minister Nathan Guy says.
Addressing Beef and Lamb New Zealand's annual meeting, Mr Guy
said the industry had some serious challenges.
Profitability would not be improved by ''doing more of the
same, or by simply selling more of the same''.
Not a week went by where he did not hear how dairying was
taking over the sector; how the red meat sector was on a
downward spiral and how New Zealand was becoming a ''giant
''This is not what New Zealand wants, and it is not what I
want,'' Mr Guy said.
He was optimistic about the red meat sector's future, saying
it was capable of leading the world in its innovative and
profitable approach to selling high quality meat.
Earlier this month, Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) called on
Mr Guy to convene an urgent industry summit to address what
it described as a crisis confronting the sector and the
In response, Mr Guy encouraged all members of the industry to
collaborate, talk and resolve issues.
''I don't think anyone wants another talkfest or a meeting
where only a few turn up and those that do aren't prepared to
''I believe any meaningful event must have the commitment of
all the players of the industry including MIE, Beef and Lamb,
MIA (Meat Industry Association), Federated Farmers, the
processors and the banks,'' he said.
If MIE or any other group organised a pan-industry summit,
committed to resolving issues in the sector, he would attend
and engage in it, he said.
If a significant portion of the sector agreed on a solution
of how they wanted to better the industry, his door was open.
Any substantial change needed to come with a very clear and
very broad level of support.
''I am not prepared to interfere in the structure of a sector
without the support of that sector. The Government doesn't
own the sector, you do,'' he told the meeting.
''I doubt that anyone in this room wants the heavy hand of
government dreaming up bureaucratic solutions that haven't
come from the ground up,'' he said.
It was an industry where farmers could have a say and it
seemed very clear that if an overwhelming majority of people
wanted change, there was the ability to bring it about, he
Northland farmer James Parsons has been elected chairman of
Beef and Lamb New Zealand.
Mr Parsons and his wife, Janine, farm a 478ha sheep and beef
property between Whangarei and Dargaville.
He takes over from Mike Petersen, from Hawkes Bay, who did
not seek re-election to the board.