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Farmers Say National Strategy Needed

14 May 2008


Farmers Say National Strategy Needed


Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairman, Keith Kelly says the closing of the PPCS plant at Oringi has demonstrated that the problems plaguing the meat industry are not confined to farmers.

“In this instance, the loss of the Oringi plant will directly affect Dannevirke and surrounding communities. Other communities too are likely to face similar problems as industry restructuring continues

“The problem highlights the complexity of the issues that bedevil the industry. One of these issues has developed as meat companies, in competition with each other, have built plants in high production areas to gain better access to stock.

“As stock numbers have decreased, overcapacity develops and some plants, such as Oringi, are closed. At the same time however, farmers wishing to destock to manage drought conditions have often been unable to get their stock killed. Finally, to add a bizarre touch to the circumstances, Australian lamb is now on sale in New Zealand.

“The combination of rising on-farm costs and the pressures the meat industry is imposing on itself, make the situation intolerable for farmers, processors and rural communities.

Federated Farmers urges all the players in the meat industry to come together to develop a national strategy for the industry. This would avoid the ad hoc approach which, Federated Farmers believes, can lead to poor decision making and complicate, rather than resolve, the problems the industry faces.




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