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Working group for dairy processing sector

Hon Nathan Guy

Minister for Primary Industries

14 August 2014

Working group for dairy processing sector

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced the establishment of a working group to develop a ‘roadmap’ on how to meet the future capability needs of the dairy processing sector.

“This was a recommendation of the independent Government Inquiry into the Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) Contamination Incident last year. It found that our food safety regulatory model for dairy is among the best in the world, but also recommended improving people capability to strengthen the food safety system.

“The inquiry highlighted the shortage of experienced people with processing expertise across the industry’s regulatory sector, and at all levels of the system.

“There is a need to improve training and investment in dairy industry capability, and attract and retain the right people to become verifiers. We also need to focus on continuing professional development for those already in the industry.”

The working group will determine short, medium and long-term capability needs of the dairy processing sector and develop a ‘roadmap’ for the delivery of development activities.

The working group will be chaired by Ruawai dairy farmer and former Fonterra Board director Greg Gent.

It has representatives from the dairy industry, science and education providers, and relevant government departments and agencies.

The working group is expected to submit its final report to the Ministry for Primary Industries Director-General by the end of July 2015.

“This work fits in well with the recent report ‘The future capability needs for the primary industries in New Zealand’ which forecasts the future workforce needs of the primary sector.

“This report highlights that employment in the primary industries is expected to increase by 50,000 by 2025 to reach the Government’s goal of an export double. Government and industry are committed to working together on this challenge.”

Media contact: Phil Rennie 021 405 443

Further information

Members of the group include:

· DairyNZ (Kimberly Crewther)
· Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, one representing large-scale manufacturers (Joanne Finer) and one representing small-scale producers (Shane Lodge)
· Science New Zealand (Kevin Argyle)
· Universities New Zealand (Prof Charles Brennan)
· Asurequality Limited (Richard Burrow)
· PrimaryITO (Tracey Shepherd)
· Tertiary Education Commission (Kim Ulberg)
· Ministry of Education (Roger Smyth)
· Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (Andy Jackson)
· Ministry for Primary Industries (Carol Barnao)

Greg Gent

Greg is a dairy farmer and a professional director based in Ruawai, Northland with significant dairy industry leadership experience.

Greg became the chairman of the Northland Co-operative Dairy Company in 1993 and led its amalgamation with Kiwi Co-operative Dairy Company in 1999. When Fonterra was established in 2001, Greg joined the Fonterra Board and served on that Board for a decade.

He is the Deputy Chair of New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research; a Ministerial appointee on the Northland District Health Board; a Director on the Southern Cross Group Board; and the Chairman of Farmers Mutual Group.

In 2012 Greg received the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the dairy industry and corporate governance.


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