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PPCS Welcomes Meat & Wool New Zealand Initiative

17 January 2008

PPCS Welcomes Meat & Wool New Zealand Initiative

PPCS Chairman Reese Hart said Meat & Wool New Zealand should be applauded for its approach in taking a leadership role in addressing issues facing the red meat sector.

Meat & Wool New Zealand has announced plans to put together a taskforce to advise the farmer-funded body on how it can best assist industry reform.

Mr Hart said: “While we commend the overall intent of the Meat & Wool New Zealand taskforce as positive, we are most concerned that the indicated time frame for a report is six to 12 months away.

“Farmers, and in particular sheep farmers, want and need changes made now, not following a report in six to 12 months’ time, which could delay implementation for a further two seasons.

“We believe greater urgency is required and sought by New Zealand livestock farmers on tackling the issues facing the industry, particularly given the length of time which has already elapsed,” he said.

Mr Hart was also cautious about the taskforce placing too much emphasis on issues which are of a commercial nature and for which solutions must be agreed by commercial parties.

“Given the variety of ownership structures in the industry, commercial arrangements cannot simply be dictated to commercial entities,” he said.

While the terms of reference of the Meat & Wool New Zealand taskforce have yet to be announced, Mr Hart noted the comments of Meat & Wool New Zealand Chairman Mike Petersen that the taskforce’s focus would include industry representation.

Mr Hart believed that the reforming current industry representation was a positive move.

“We hope the taskforce will lead to the consolidation of Meat & Wool New Zealand, Meat Industry Association, Deer Industry New Zealand and other relevant sector boards, bringing together producers, processors and exporters.

“Only a single industry body can take the red meat sector forward with a co-ordinated vision and a unified and consistent position on industry issues including market access and quota allocation,” he said.

Mr Hart noted that if the red meat sector had had a single representative body embracing producers, processors and exporters, then the issues to be reviewed by the taskforce could have been undertaken by that body.

Mr Hart hoped that this group would also facilitate better information flow to government via the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to ensure government fully understood the plight of the New Zealand meat producer and the impact this will have in the future.

ENDS

Company profile:

_ PPCS is a leading New Zealand added-value meat exporter, which has operated from its head office in Dunedin since 1948.

_ It is responsible for around a third of New Zealand’s sheep meat and beef exports and around half of New Zealand’s venison exports.

_ PPCS has nationwide processing coverage and employs about 9,000 staff in the peak of the processing season.

_ It is a 100% farmer-owned co-operative with about 20,000 farmer suppliers.

_ It has an annual turnover of approximately $2 billion.

_ PPCS operates around a core belief: to market quality New Zealand consumer products to the world by meeting the requirements of the end user, and to retain the resulting profits in New Zealand.

_ PPCS has an international marketing network across the United Kingdom, European Union, the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

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