An international forum will showcase much of what makes
New Zealand a prime spot for prime breeds. Ruth Grundy looks
at the PGG Wrightson World Angus Forum.
This month, Angus cattlemen and women from around the world
will gather in Rotorua to help New Zealand breeders celebrate
150 years since the breed was introduced to the country.
Up to 500 people are expected to attend the PGG Wrightson
World Angus Forum, held every four years, and timed to
coincide with the New Zealand anniversary. New Zealand Angus
Association president Tim Brittain said many of those
attending would also take part in the pre- and post-forum
tours of prominent South and North Island studs.
It was an opportunity to showcase New Zealand's pastoral
farming credentials, and specifically its Angus genetics,
under grass-fed management, he said.
The Angus cattle breed has been known in Europe and Great
Britain since the 15th century.
In July 1863, nine prize-winning Aberdeen Angus - five bulls
and four cows - arrived at Bluff on consignment to Messrs
Holmes and Co, backed by financier James Morton.
The association formed between Holmes and Morton led to the
formation of the New Zealand and Australian Land Company in
1866, which was a pioneer in New Zealand's frozen meat and
''There are more Angus cattle in New Zealand than any other
beef breed, and Angus holds a dominant position in retail
beef sales and restaurant meals,'' Mr Brittain said.
''The forum may not come New Zealand's way again for a long
time, so this our chance to display our world-class farming
practices, and our unique Kiwi hospitality, to the world.''
It has been more than 30 years since New Zealand last hosted
a world forum.
''Delegates will have the chance to hear some of the world's
foremost experts in the field, as well as being able to mix
and mingle with like- minded Angus farmers and breeders from
around the world,'' Mr Brittain said.
The forum's business programme will feature a range of
leading international and national speakers who will cover
topics like the benefits of New Zealand's unique grass-fed
systems, the latest in Angus breeding and genetics, branding
and marketing tools and initiatives, genomics and genetics,
free trade, and health and nutrition.
New Zealand brand strategist Brian Richards, of Brian R
Richards Ltd, will give the keynote address - Positioning Red
Meat to the Consumer Globally.
A youth programme has been arranged in which 10 teams of
young Angus enthusiasts from around the world will compete
against each other in agri-sports, stock judging and general
As could be expected, mealtimes will form an important part
of the programme and top New Zealand chef Greg Heffernan has
been recruited to showcase Angus beef in the New Zealand
tradition, including at the 150th anniversary dinner.