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The Meat Industry Taskforce meets for first time

Media Release

18 February 2008

Meat Industry Taskforce

The Meat Industry Taskforce met for the first time today.

Meat & Wool New Zealand’s objective in establishing the Meat Industry Taskforce (Taskforce) is to develop a vision and a plan from farm to market that restores and generates sustainable long term profitability for farmers and the wider meat industry.

“There is no doubt that New Zealand beef and lamb is a high quality desirable product. The improvements that have been made in recent years on-farm and in further processing have been impressive, however lamb returns in particular have not been sufficient to ensure the long-term viability of the sector.

“There are a number of fundamentals that indicate the future is bright for the New Zealand meat industry. Our high quality natural products, rising protein prices, growth in developing nations and declining sheep numbers worldwide, point to opportunities for the meat industry. It is vital that the industry is repositioned to be able to take advantage of these trends and restore profitability to the sector.

“However as a sector, the meat industry has not successfully addressed recurring problems and put in place better planning for the future. The announcement in recent days of the Alliance Group Limited’s concept to create a new entity to strengthen the industry is seen as a positive step by the Taskforce,” Sir John said.

There is recognition that all participants in the industry have their own planning processes, and other industry-wide projects have been undertaken. Where these are available, they will be reviewed and included in the process of the Taskforce to ensure that duplication does not occur.

Taskforce Members were confirmed as follows:-
Sir John Anderson - Chairman Sam Robinson - Farmer & former Chair, Richmond
Reese Hart - Chair, PPCS Mike Petersen - Chair, Meat & Wool New Zealand
Owen Poole - Chair, Alliance Stuart Nattrass - Director, Fonterra
Graeme Harrison - Chair, ANZCO Colin Francis - Chair, Davmet Limited
Sam Lewis - Chair, AFFCO Bill Falconer - Chair, Meat Industry Association
Additional members and advisors will be appointed as required.

The Taskforce agreed a Terms of Reference of the project which will be focused on five main areas:-

* Strategic direction of the meat industry, in particular the sheep meat industry

* The structure of the industry

* Supply of product

* International markets

* Developing a sustainable industry strategy

ENDS

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