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Decades of Rural Experience for New NZ Pork Chair

Decades of Rural Experience for New NZ Pork Chair

NZ Pork has appointed former Southland MP Eric Roy as Chair of a new board of directors, as the industry-good body positions itself to face key challenges for New Zealand’s commercial pig farming industry.

Mr Roy, who has spent many decades working in the rural sector, was a six-term MP for the Awarua and Invercargill seats. During his time in Parliament, Mr Roy was a select committee chair of the Primary Production Select Committee, chairing the rewrite of New Zealand’s fisheries laws in what was a world first in sustainable management.

Over the course of a long farming career, Mr Roy and his family have bought and developed eight farms. He currently manages a deer, sheep, cattle and dairy support farming company, Glynore Farms Ltd, which owns properties at Te Anau, Southern Southland, and Central Otago. He is also a director of New Zealand Functional Foods and a past director of Landcorp.

Eric Roy says his appointment by the Government as an independent director for the NZ Pork Board comes at a time when the local industry, which is almost entirely focused on the domestic market, is facing significant challenges.

“This is a dynamic local sector which, through its own leadership, is supporting the positive development of New Zealand’s farming standards and practices, in terms of biosecurity, animal welfare, the environment and country of origin labelling,” says Eric Roy. “For example, the PigCare™ programme, which the industry has been developing for the last decade, is recognised as industry-leading.”

PigCare™, is the only independently verified, whole-of-industry standard in the country. The PigCare™ accreditation programme was developed by Massey University with the support of vets, pig farmers, NZ Pork and MPI. The programme complements the country’s high animal welfare standards by also focusing on the care, knowledge, expertise, experience and commitment of farmers to provide well for the health and wellbeing of the farmed pigs in their care.

“However, the industry is under constant pressure from the rapid growth in imported products, sourced from more than 25 countries around the world. Around 60 per cent of pork products consumed in New Zealand are now imported – most of which come from countries that produce pigmeat using systems and practices that would be illegal under New Zealand’s welfare standards,” says Eric Roy.

Mr Roy says the new Board recognises the myriad challenges the local industry faces – some that are unique and others it shares with the wider primary sector.

“From building relationships throughout the supply chain and with consumers, while continually demonstrating the value of the PigCare™ programme and trustmark, to ensuring a great eating experience for born and raised in NZ products, all the while combating the rise of imports, we recognise there is a lot to be done to support our farmers.”

“However, we believe there is a strong future for the industry in producing high quality food for Kiwi families in a way that provides high standards of care for both our animals and the environment.”

As well as the appointment of Eric Roy, local farmers also voted two new members to the NZ Pork Board, South Canterbury farmer Helen Andrews, who has operated a pig farm for over 14 years, and Jason Palmer, managing director of Southern Pork Limited, based in Dunsandel.

Mr Roy says Helen and Jason represent the next generation of farming for the industry.

“It’s great to see younger farmers bringing new ideas, energy and enthusiasm to their leadership roles as we work towards realising the opportunities of the future for New Zealand’s primary sectors.”

-ends-

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