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Tri Nations Lamb Group meet in Hawkes Bay

Media Release

13 October 2008

Tri Nations Lamb Group meet in Hawkes Bay

Members of the Tri Nations Lamb Group from the United States, Australia and New Zealand are meeting in Hawkes Bay this week to continue work on getting more Americans to eat lamb.

The three countries set up this collaborative initiative five years ago to raise awareness among Americans of the healthy properties of lean lamb, which is low in fat, low in cholesterol and rich in essential nutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin B12.

New Zealand is hosting the annual conference for 2008 and 30 sheep producer delegates from the three countries will take part in the two day conference. They include members of the American Sheep Industry Association, American Lamb Board, National Lamb Feeders Association, Meat & Livestock Australia, the Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Federated Farmers New Zealand and Meat & Wool New Zealand.

Meat & Wool New Zealand Chairman, Mike Petersen said Tri Lamb was an important forum that enabled the three lamb producing countries to work together for their combined benefit.

“The United States holds huge potential for lamb and if we can get more Americans eating lamb, then we all benefit as the market grows. American consumers currently eat very little lamb, but awareness is growing of its healthy and easy to cook qualities and that is off the back of Tri Lamb work with nutritionists.”

The Tri Nations Lamb Group has funded a nutritional promotion, “Lean on Lamb” that highlighted lean lamb as a healthy protein source with American nutrition and health professionals, who in turn encouraged it to be part of a healthy American diet.

Mr Petersen said the two-day programme would get an update on this project and there would also be discussion on sheep genomics and areas where the three countries could collaborate further.

Chairman of Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre Council, Bruce Wills, said Federated Farmers fully supported building closer relationships between lamb producers globally.
"Discussions between farmers from the three countries identified many issues which were the same for all of us and it makes sense to be working to address these collectively."


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