Beef + Lamb pulls plug on the Glammies

For 10 years, farmers from throughout the country have entered their best of best in the Golden Lamb Awards, better known as the Glammies.

This year, looking to reinvest farmer levies in more crucial areas, Beef + Lamb New Zealand has pulled its funding from the event. Nicole Sharp reports.

After 10 years of celebrating farmers' best-raised lamb, the Glammies are no more.

Since the event's inception, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd (BLNZ) has partnered with Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc to run the event, with BLNZ the predominant funder.

In the past six months, BLNZ has been consulting its farmers and reviewing its strategy and anticipated revenue stream through to 2022.

Chief executive Sam McIvor said that as part of the strategic review, BLNZ had decided not to continue funding the Glammies, and also to significantly reduce its funding for the Steak of Origin competition.

''While we acknowledge the competitions have been successful over the years and have done a great job of celebrating New Zealand's farmers, producers and retailers, we think there are more pressing priorities that can more directly impact farmers' bottom lines.

''We accept this announcement will be disappointing for some people and we haven't taken this decision lightly,'' Mr McIvor said.

He then thanked the many farmers, processors, sponsors, breed associations and suppliers who had helped make the Glammies a success in the past 10 years.

During the review, farmers told BLNZ their key priorities included improving the effectiveness of BLNZ's research and extension activities, developing and promoting the red meat story in New Zealand and internationally, protecting existing markets, in particular in light of Brexit, and opening and developing new markets, Mr McIvor said.

Farmers also wanted BLNZ to provide more support in developing their environmental reputation, advocate with government and the wider public on their behalf to lower the regulatory burden, and ensure its activities had a clear line of sight that would result in farmer profitability, he said.

''[It's about] focusing on fewer things and doing them better.''

From a marketing and communications perspective, BLNZ's key focus was to promote the red meat story here and overseas, as well as promote the farmers and the industry with the general public in New Zealand, he said.

''A special area of focus will be telling farmers' environmental story.''

As part of this, BLNZ would be putting greater emphasis on a National Lamb Day promotion, jointly with Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc, Mr McIvor said.

Next year, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc would continue to run the Steak of Origin competition with support from BLNZ and PGG Wrightson.

There would be some changes due to reduced funding, and organisers would be in touch, Mr McIvor said.

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