Sutton Speech: Livestock Improvement Corporation
8 May 2002
Livestock Improvement Corporation opening,
Chairman David Milne, chief executive Stuart Gordon, my colleague Martin Gallagher, ladies and gentlemen: thank you for the invitation to visit your facility today. My colleague Dianne Yates passes on her apologies for not being able to attend today.
The structure of your organisation was one of the complicated issues to be worked through as part of the dairy mega-merger last year.
I think we came up with a good solution in the end, and I congratulate you on becoming a user-owned co-operative company. It's something that's been talked about for years, but now is a reality.
Your role in the industry is a vital one.
Under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001, LIC is required to retain the core database, which is part of the national dairy herd improvement database which you operate. This core database is a valuable asset, and contains information on things such as data on milk production and milk composition.
It's instrumental in achieving high genetic gain for the national dairy herd, through linking production information with ancestry information to enable breeding from the best bulls and cows.
It's important for research, particularly as we develop our biotechnology industry.
The database can also be used for traceability.
Access to the database must be granted if the Access Panel is satisfied that doing so would be beneficial to the New Zealand industry. The panel may grant access if it would not be harmful to the industry.
Our economy is biologically based. About 60 per cent of our exports are from the primary production sector, and last year, one in every five dollars earned in exports was earned by our dairy industry. It's vital that we do everything possible to stay at the forefront of the international dairy industry.
You have a key role to play in that.
Here at the Riverlea campus, LIC has four laboratories providing analysis services to the dairy industry.
We have Livestock Improvement's milk analysis laboratory, the animal health laboratory, and the genemark DNA analysis laboratory, as well as Dexcel's milk characteristics laboratory.
Today's official opening marks a new era of diagnostic ability for the New Zealand dairy industry.
As part of that official opening, I get to reveal the campus' new name: the TESTLINK Sample Analysis Network.
Ladies and Gentlemen: I am delighted to declare the TESTLINK Sample Analysis Network open. I wish all who work on this campus the best possible success in their endeavours.