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Unions Support Food and Beverage Development

28 August 2006

Unions Support Food and Beverage Development Agenda

Unions support the recommendations of the Food and Beverage Taskforce final report, released today, union spokesperson James Ritchie said.

"The report of the Food & Beverage Taskforce is about a development agenda for the most important sector of the economy," Ritchie said.

"The food and beverage industry - being employers, unions, training providers, science and research organisations and government - is signalling its intention to work together to lift the performance of the industry through greater focus on innovation, skills development and marketing."

CTU Unions were very keen to play their part in building understanding of the need for this development agenda, and facilitating increased worker participation in critical decisions that face the food and beverage industry in the future, Ritchie said.

"This is an opportunity for New Zealand to develop tripartite cooperation towards creating and placing more high value New Zealand food and beverage products on world supermarket shelves."

"To this end there will be increased cooperation and avoidance of duplication in areas of skill development and workforce planning, turning ideas into commercial products and marketing from the perspective of 'NZ Inc'."

Unions had also been very involved in the skills action plan work of the taskforce, Ritchie said.

Ritchie said there was a need to develop a consensus on the proper regulatory framework for food and beverage industries, including in bio-security, labour and environmental standards.

CTU Secretary Carol Beaumont and NZ Dairy Workers Union National Secretary James Ritchie were union representatives on the taskforce, which was set up by government in 2004.

ENDS

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