Focus on national farmers' mandate

The newly formed Meat Industry Excellence Group says its initial focus is on gaining a national mandate from farmers for industry change.

The group's first public meeting in Gore last month was attended by about 1000 farmers who overwhelmingly supported a mandate for change in the bealaguered red meat sector.

The next meeting will be at the Wigram Aviation Museum in Christchurch on April 17 at 2pm.

It will follow a similar format to the Gore meeting and keynote speakers include Prof Keith Woodford, professor of farm management and agribusiness at Lincoln University. Further meetings are planned throughout New Zealand.

West Otago farmer Richard Young has been elected group chairman, and a seven-person executive has been elected.

They were all active sheep and beef farmers who were ''totally committed'' to improving the returns for all farmers who relied on the country's red meat industry, Mr Young said.

As well as gaining the national mandate for change, the group also needed to facilitate and promote communication with all players in the industry, he said.

He urged farmers to attend the Christchurch meeting to become further informed about their industry and ''start working together for industry reform''.

''We also believe that the service industries who work in the red meat sector need to attend because we are all reliant on a strong sheep, beef and venison sector for our livelihoods,'' he said.

Gore-based farm consultant Graham Butcher confirmed his resignation from the group earlier this week, saying he had ''quite a fundamental'' difference with how it should proceed, believing a bigger mandate is needed from farmers.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter