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More than 70 people including farmers, meat exporters and government partners have been meeting to advance the project with the aim of supporting better sector profitability.
The story of New Zealand farming and its farmers is at the heart of Beef + Lamb’s new market development strategy targeting new and emerging markets.
The sector had been working together for 12 months, designing a new market development plan and the first piece of it was defining the sector’s story, Mr McIvor said.
The recent workshop included Mike Lee, chief executive of New York-based food design and innovation agency Studio Industries. who encouraged participants to find their authentic food story.
"Stories are what connect people and so any story about food is actually a human story — about the growers and farmers and where and how they produce food.
"Food today is no longer just about sustenance, it’s intrinsically linked with social bonds and personal values.
"The food consumers eat says something about how they want the world to be, so in essence people are eating their values and these include the way animals are farmed — although food also needs to deliver on taste," he said.
New Zealand’s red meat producers knew their own story "would be bound in the richness of farming families, looking after the land, nourishing and respecting their animals and caring about the consumer experience", Mr McIvor said.
"These themes are a great foundational base from which to further uncover the hidden jewels that will form our story. Mike challenged us to think about what we may consider mundane as actually profound for our customers," he said.