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Farmers keen to do their bit for meat export market boost

5 June 2015

Farmers keen to do their bit for meat export market boost

Federated Farmers says the New Zealand meat export industry needs to make up lost ground with a boost to marketing New Zealand beef and sheepmeat overseas.

Meat and fibre spokesperson Rick Powdrell says the figures show primary industries in other countries are outmuscling New Zealand meat in our export markets.

“Beef + Lamb New Zealand has identified we aren’t putting enough effort into promoting our meat exports at the moment and it has been working with the meat industry to get a joint farmer/industry promotion of NZ$7 - $8m a year commitment together. I commend that.”

“It’s been disappointing over the past few years for farmers, who are heavily investing in more efficient production on farm, to then see the value of their product being let down overseas. The need for collaborative marketing was identified back in the Red Meat Strategy back in 2011. I would hate to see meat industry politics derail or water down this proposal.”

“I’m confident that I’m backed by the great majority of farmers who believe this promotion is important.”

“Time after time market surveys have shown overseas consumers rank New Zealand food very highly.”

Rick Powdrell says he understands New Zealand meat exporters are competing with each other.

“They need to do that for their shareholders and stakeholders. But they should not be short term trading at the expense of long term collaborative promotion for the benefit of both them individually and their farmer suppliers,” he says.

“You just need to visit the marketplace to realise the competition is not from here in New Zealand, but it’s from the mega animal proteins, such as pork and chicken.”

“We need to market sheepmeat from New Zealand as a distinctive product and the fact that our beef animals are grass fed – and not grain fed – is a market plus, which we haven’t put enough effort into.”

Rick Powdrell warns any such promotion will take a while to make a real difference in prices.

“The Norwegian salmon industry is a benchmark for well researched, managed and funded international promotion. The Norwegians are quite clear their international marketing is a long term project. But in that long term the evidence is that it makes a huge difference to producer returns.”

ends

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