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Tri-Nations Lamb Breakthrough

Tri-Nations Lamb Breakthrough

Joint statement by Meat and Wool New Zealand and Federated Farmers of New Zealand

18 November 2004

New Zealand sheep farmer representatives are hailing a breakthrough agreement aimed at increasing lamb consumption in the United States.

The breakthrough came at the second Tri-Nations Lamb Group meeting of sheep meat representatives from New Zealand, Australia, and the United States.

"We are very pleased that we and the Australian representatives have been able to show our American counterparts that we can work together to raise the amount of lamb consumed in the United States," said Jeff Grant, Chairman of Meat & Wool New Zealand.

"The Americans have agreed to a pilot arrangement which will lead to a lamb education programme in the United States.

"In 2005 we will share information on what each country is doing to encourage lamb consumption. The following year we will start a campaign based on the nutritional benefits of eating lamb, similar perhaps to the successful iron campaign we have run for a number of years," Mr Grant said.

The commitment to work together was reflected in two resolutions passed at the meeting. They were:

• That the Tri-Nations Lamb Group supports sharing information on the timing and location of promotional campaigns in the US market.

• That the Tri-Nations Lamb Group supports the development of a pilot consumer education program in the United States market increasing the awareness of the nutritional and health benefits of lamb.

"The agreement marks a major milestone in growing the US lamb market," said Ian Corney, President of New Zealand Meat and Fibre Producers, an industry group of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

"American farmers have come to an understanding that Australasian producers are not trying to split or steal their market. We have together agreed a way forward which will grow the market in a positive way for the benefit of all lamb producers selling in the US."

"As a New Zealand sheep farmer, I am very pleased with the progress that has been achieved," Mr Corney said.

The group also resolved that the next meeting would be held in New Zealand at the end of 2005.

ENDS

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