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Major new fund for pastoral and food industries

Response from Crop & Food Research to the Prime Minister's  announcement of a major new fund for the pastoral and food industries.
Crop & Food Research CEO Mark Ward has welcomed the Government's announcement today of the NZ Fast Forward fund, saying that it will ultimately drive food exports and so provide added impetus for New Zealand's continued economic transformation.
"It is the primary sector that has done all the heavy lifting in the New Zealand economy and we need to continue to invest in this sector as well as invest in value-added foods to really make a difference for this country.
"Crop & Food Research has worked for many years with food companies that are taking our excellent raw materials and developing products that are desired by international markets.
"We are really looking forward to leveraging this Government money and working in partnership with companies who need innovation and research to take the next step."
Mr Ward says the Government's announcement should particularly encourage New Zealand's smaller food companies who, although lacking an R&D budget, have a vision to be a success in export markets.
The $700 million NZ Fast Forward fund was announced by Prime Minister Helen Clark today.
The Government expects the fund to grow to around $1 billion as it earns interest over the next ten to fifteen years. In addition, industries will be expected to match the Government's commitment on an annual basis, resulting in an expected total fund of around $2 billion over the next ten to fifteen years.

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