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Red Meat Sector Strategy Coordination Group moving forward

11 August 2011

Red Meat Sector Strategy Coordination Group moving forward

Former MP Katherine Rich and dairy and meat industry leader, Graeme Milne, have been appointed as independent members of the Red Meat Sector Strategy’s Coordinating Group.

Rich is the CEO of the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council and was a National MP from 1999 to 2008, while Milne holds a range of professional directorships across the primary sector, including Synlait Ltd (Chairman), Johnes Disease Research Consortium (Chairman), and FMG (Director).

The other members of the Strategy Coordination Group (SCG) are Paul Stocks – Deputy Director General – Policy from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Chairmen and Chief Executives of the Meat Industry Association (MIA) and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ).

The SCG Co-Chairmen, Bill Falconer (MIA Chairman) and Mike Petersen (B+LNZ Chairman) said Katherine Rich and Graeme Milne brought sound industry knowledge and skills and new perspectives that would greatly assist implementation of the Red Meat Sector Strategy. They were also grateful to have the support and input of a very experienced and senior official in Paul Stocks.

Petersen said that the SCG had met several times already and was working with stakeholders to facilitate uptake of the strategy’s recommendations.

“The SCG has identified a number of initiatives that are already underway by industry players and will be looking to do a stocktake of these in coming weeks. We’ll then outline other priorities that we would like to see underway over the coming year to enable the sector to achieve the additional $3.4 billion of revenue by 2025 identified in the strategy.

“As an example in the area of best practice, Beef + Lamb New Zealand is developing a system where increased use of the organisation’s database will allow farmers to measure themselves against other farmers across a range of criteria. The key then is to provide access to the tools and technologies that will enable improvements for those farmers who choose to take action.”

Falconer said that the meat companies had a good understanding of the sector strategy and were already taking steps to determine how it should be implemented. In some cases this would involve extensions to existing programmes with farmers and in other cases there will be new initiatives.

The Sector Strategy themes will form the basis of the programme of the Red Meat Sector Conference being held in Rotorua on 4-5 September. This will be the first time sheep and beef farmers and processors have come together to share a joint industry conference. All farmers, meat companies and sector stakeholders are invited to register now and further information is available from freephone 0800 233 352.

ENDS

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