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Animal agriculture’s future – value or volume?

Animal agriculture’s future – value or volume?

5 March, 2007

Trans-Tasman partners, New Zealand’s AgResearch and Australia’s CSIRO Livestock Industries (CLI) are holding a major industry and scientific conference later this year to examine the commercial future for high value food and fibre products from the farm.

The Conference will bring together eminent agri-business leaders and scientists from around the globe to discuss the current drivers of change in animal agriculture, cutting edge science for the future, and industry transformation using case studies to examine responses from the dairy, meat and fibre sectors.

According to AgResearch Chief Executive Dr Andrew West, the three day conference, to be held in Christchurch NZ will focus on the debate about on-farm value adding.

“As scientific research agencies, we think there is a promising commercial future for Australasian farmers to grow ‘high value’ food and fibre products. For example we envisage a future where some dairy farmers will produce milk for highly valuable neutraceutical products designed to enhance human health.

“However, we are aware that not all in industry share our optimistic views about the commercial future of these sorts of products and this conference will feature speakers who are less enthusiastic about on-farm ‘value-adding’ as well as those who are.

“This Conference will give scientists, industry and farm leaders, and policy makers a good opportunity to examine and debate the scientific possibilities and market forces that will shape research and industry approaches to future animal agriculture,” says Dr West.

“Both New Zealand’s and Australia’s livestock industries are at a time of great change. This change needs debate. Do our countries focus on producing more milk or higher value milk? More meat or higher value meat? And likewise for wool – or do we focus on volume and value simultaneously? This conference will let farmers, industrialists and scientists have their say, listen and learn,” says Dr West.

Key-note speakers include Barry Harris, Director Fonterra Milk Supply, who will give an address called “Fonterra’s strategy for ongoing performance in global markets”.

CSIRO’s Dr Manny Noakes, co-author of the highly popular CSIRO Total Well Being Diet books will also talk about current consumer drivers in her address “The role of animal source foods in the development of ‘healthy’ dietary recommendations.”

The three-day conference, which is the fifth in the highly successful Horizons in Livestock Sciences series, will be held at the Convention Centre, Christchurch, New Zealand, 28-30 October 2008. Further details can be found at - the Conference website.

It is the first time that this unique event has been held outside Australia.


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