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$82 million for New Zealand pork industry

Thu, 3 Feb 2005

Research funding worth $82 million for New Zealand pork industry

The New Zealand pork industry is to benefit from A$82 million of research as a result of the New Zealand Pork Industry Board's participation in an Australian-led bid for research funding through the Australian Cooperative Research Centre.

The Australian Federal Government recently announced it would provide a grant of A$25.75 million to a consortium of Australasian pork industry organisations and research providers which included the New Zealand Pork Industry Board, in a bid for Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) funding.

The Australian government grant, combined with substantial private funding from members of the group, will result in a total research budget of just under A$82 million over seven years. The New Zealand Pork Industry Board will contribute A$50,000 in cash and A$100,000 in kind each year, and as a core participant will be able to distribute the research outcomes to members during the next seven years.

Known as the CRC for an Internationally Competitive Pork Industry, the research programme aims to reduce on-farm production costs through innovative grain production and improved feed conversion efficiency, and to increase the demand for quality pork and top quality niche products.

The Board's chief executive, Angus Davidson, said that he believed participation in such a major research project would prove to be an historical milestone in the development of the New Zealand pork industry and would allow this country to compete successfully on the global pork market.

"It is absolutely fantastic that we have been given the opportunity to participate and reap the monumental benefits of a research programme of this size, which, given the comparatively small size of our New Zealand industry, is something we would never have been able to afford to do alone," he said.

Other participants in the programme are Australian Pork Ltd, Australian Pork Farms Group, Murdoch University, QAF Meat Industries Pty Ltd, The CHM Alliance, the University of Adelaide and the University of Sydney.

The CRC model was established in Australia in 1990 to improve the effectiveness of its research and development effort. The model aims to enhance industrial and economic growth through the development of sustained user-driven public/private research centres that link researchers directly with industry.

Mr Davidson said that the CRC will be based at Roseworthy in South Australia, widely regarded as Australia's centre of pig production excellence, and it was hoped that much of the development of niche food products would be seconded to Massey University in New Zealand.

ENDS

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