Rich joins red meat group

Former National MP Katherine Rich and primary sector leader Graeme Milne have been appointed independent members of the red meat sector strategy's co-ordinating group.

The group, which includes representatives from the Meat Industry Association, Beef and Lamb New Zealand and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, was formed to promote, advise, monitor and report on the implementation of the sector's strategy, which is aimed at almost doubling the value of the sector's earnings.

Mrs Rich, who is chief executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council, was a National list MP from 1999 to 2008. Before entering politics, she worked for the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology; the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; and Alliance Textiles. She was also general manager for the international agribusiness company Silverstream Ltd.

Mr Milne holds a range of professional directorships in the primary sector, including as chairman of Synlait Ltd, chairman of the Johnes Disease Research Consortium and director of FMG.

The pair brought "sound industry knowledge and skills and new perspectives" that would greatly assist implementation of the strategy, the group's co-chairmen Bill Falconer, of the Meat Industry Association, and Mike Petersen, of Beef and Lamb NZ, said in a statement.

The group had already met several times and was working with stakeholders to enable understanding and use of the strategy's recommendations, Mr Petersen said.

"The [group] has identified a number of initiatives that are already under way by industry players and will be looking to do a stocktake of these in coming weeks."


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