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Govt to invest in livestock industry traceability

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

Progressive Leader

22 May 2008 Media statement

Govt to invest in livestock industry traceability

The Government is to become the cornerstone investor in the new national traceability scheme, Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton said today.

The National Animal Identification and Tracing initiative will ultimately see all livestock in New Zealand tagged as part of a database tracing animals from paddock to plate.

Jim Anderton said that the Labour-Progressive Government would provide capital funding to set up the NAIT system: that is, $2.88 million in the first financial year, $1.18 million in the second financial year, and $210,000 for the following three years.

That funding will develop a world-recognised animal identification and traceability system.

In addition, Jim Anderton said, the Government will fund 35 per cent of the operating costs of the NAIT system each year, and is working with industry on how the remainder will be funded.

Another $3.02 million of capital funding in 2008/09 and around $1.8 million a year of operating costs is to be spent developing an associated FarmsOnLine project, a multiple purpose “master registry” of rural properties. This will be a Crown-owned data service, sourced from government and industry, and will provide information on farm location, ownership, management, and land use.

Jim Anderton said a NAIT implementation plan would be published next month, so that industry can give feedback on detailed design issues.

He said the NAIT initiative was an important move for New Zealand.

“This is how we demonstrate that we are one of the world’s leaders in producing high-quality, high-value, safe food.”

He said the world’s markets were increasingly demanding proof that food systems were of high-quality. Traceability was an important part of that.

“Consumers want to know where their food comes from, not just from what country, but sometimes even what farm and what particular part of a farm animals come from. NAIT will enable us to do that, on a systematic basis across the whole country.”

Jim Anderton said that some meat companies had traceability systems of their own, but the practice was not widespread across the country.

“Over time, it has become clear that a more comprehensive approach is needed.

“The issue has been debated vigorously within the livestock industry for some years. Now, a consensus is starting to emerge, and it’s time for the Government to show its commitment.”

He said the Government was putting its money where its mouth was by funding all the capital set-up costs of the NAIT initiative and putting in operating costs of $910,000 in the first financial year, increasing to $2.59 million from 2011-12 and ongoing years.

“We see the livestock industry as a crucial part of New Zealand. This investment will ensure it remains a world-leading producer of protein.”


ENDS

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