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Meat New Zealand Must Operate In The Black


Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre Producers (NZMFP) Chairman Chris Lester is commending Meat New Zealand's plans to reduce spending from $39.7 million in 1999 to $33.5 million in 2000.

However, the NZMFP chairman remains concerned that Meat New Zealand is still forecasting a deficit of $5.9 million in the year 2000 operating budget.

"It is critical that Meat New Zealand operate within its means in the current financial year and demonstrate to levy payers that it can function without relying upon reserves to balance its books," said Mr Lester.

"Meat New Zealand must focus its expenditure on activities that will directly benefit levy payers' profitability. It is up to levy payers to ensure that Meat New Zealand adds value to farming effectively and efficiently, and does so within its means."

"Meat New Zealand has expressed its desire to operate in a balanced budget situation and to deliver outcomes sought by levy payers. We are anxious to see those ideals progressed and desirable outcomes achieved."

"I would encourage those levy payers in areas yet to be visited by the MNZ farmer forum team to attend a forum and insist that MNZ operate a balanced budget in 2000."

Although the Labour Government has signalled that reform for the non-trading producer boards is on hold for the moment, Mr Lester believes that MNZ should continue to look closely at its activities and how they add value to the business of farming.

"Given the time and money already invested in the reform process, I believe Meat New Zealand must continue to examine its role in the red meat industry and that levy payer's expectations should be an imperative," concluded Mr Lester.


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