Farmers support funding for MIE

Meat Industry Excellence believes the red meat sector should initially focus on the benefits...
Meat Industry Excellence believes the red meat sector should initially focus on the benefits arising from committed/contracted supply. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Farmers have supported a remit from Meat Industry Excellence seeking funding from Beef and Lamb New Zealand to continue the group's quest for industry reform.

MIE had earlier said it needed about $200,000 for travel, meetings and other activities associated with driving the reform process.

Sheep and beef farmers supported all the farmer remits and resolutions put to Beef and Lamb's annual meeting in Feilding last Friday, the organisation announced yesterday.

That included the formation of Beef and Lamb New Zealand Genetics, where Beef and Lamb combined its genetics investments into one entity, and a proposal by the Wool Levy Review Group to investigate the value proposition for a future wool levy.

The results of the farmer remits will be considered by Beef and Lamb's board when it meets in April.

Earlier this month, MIE called on Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy to convene an urgent industry summit to address what it described as a crisis confronting the sector and the country.

In response, Mr Guy encouraged all members of the industry to collaborate, talk and resolve issues, while also saying he would engage in a pan-industry summit if MIE or any other group organised it.

MIE chairman John McCarthy said the group would be approaching stakeholders across the sector to secure a commitment, in principle, on the need for a summit to establish if there were areas of commonality that could be agreed on to turn the sector around.

MIE would also be repeating its request to Mr Guy for organisational and ministerial support to enable the initiative.

It was a ''political smokescreen'' for Mr Guy to expect MIE to bring the stakeholders ''around a table''.

''MIE are essentially a well-intentioned body of volunteers who have put their hands in their own pockets and, to date, have been inordinately successful in achieving their goals.

''It is probably a bridge too far for them to co-ordinate, on their own, the large number of diverse stakeholders that populates the red meat industry,'' Mr McCarthy said.

Meat industry talks failed and there were only four of the processing sector involved, he said.

''This is quite obviously a role for the minister. He is the appointed leader of this sector, such change is in the national interest and he has taxpayer resources at his disposal,'' he said.

MIE believed the sector should focus, as a starting point, on the benefits arising from committed/contracted supply.

It believed that would have downstream benefits across the spectrum, especially in terms of a stable banking platform and more co-operative in-market behaviour, he said.


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