Strategic Plan For Meat & Wool New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND - Meat & Wool New Zealand has set its course for the next five years, with the launch of its Strategic Plan at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting in Te Kuiti.
calendar icon 26 March 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

Meat & Wool New Zealand Chief Executive, Dr Scott Champion, says the Strategic Plan defines the way in which Meat & Wool New Zealand will do business through to 2014 – what’s new, what has been retained and where the organisation is putting more or less emphasis over time.

“Simply put, it’s a plan to focus our attention on those areas where Meat & Wool New Zealand can make a difference for sheep and beef farmers and to increase our engagement with, and delivery to those farmers. We’re looking to deliver tools and services that are relevant for farmers and their businesses.”

Dr Champion says the development of the Strategic Plan had been a comprehensive and rigorous process.

“We started by looking at the issues facing the industry, considering how the industry needs to respond, and then looking at what role we can play in that response.

“We have been particularly conscious of the strong messages farmers gave us during Referendum 09. This relates not only to the loss of the wool levy, but also to the issues sheep and beef farmers wanted the organisation to address in the next five years, and how they wanted us to interact with them.

“Farmers wanted better communication about the tools and practices that will help them be profitable on a sustainable basis.

“So while the plan retains a lot of the organisation’s current activity that farmers supported in the referendum, it introduces some new activities, and importantly up’s the ante on delivery and extension.

“We’ve implemented organisational changes which have seen a shift of staff from Wellington to the regions and there will be an increased focus on extension work, with a dedicated extension team now operating in the regions.

“Getting more farmers using the tools like Land Environment Plans, Wormwise, genetic information from Sheep Improvement Ltd and forage planning tools like ForageMaster and FeedSmart, will provide significant gains for the sector. We know farmers using these practices feature amongst the top performers in our industry.

“Tapping into what high performing farmers are doing and extending that information across the industry is a key plank of the plan.”

Meat & Wool New Zealand is looking at a new initiative for ‘demonstration farms’ that would feature scientists demonstrating leading-edge science to farmers and working with them to develop and refine its application in real-world situations. This differs from the well-known and well established Monitor Farm programme which has farmers working with farmers to adopt new technologies.

“We are undertaking a review of the Monitor Farm Programme currently because we are aware that while some of the programmes are working well, there is a need for a revamp in others to make them more relevant to current farming needs.

Dr Champion said the Strategic Plan has initiatives and tactics that ensure Meat & Wool New Zealand’s investment in research, development and technology transfer is genuinely driven by the needs of farmers. We’re putting emphasis on improving farmers’ access to tools and information that help decision-making and increase productivity. And farmers will be able to clearly recognise these products and services as being supported by their levy funds.

In the market, Meat & Wool New Zealand will be providing more market insight through detailed market research and analysis and creating better linkages to align trade and technical policy with the promotional approach for sheepmeat and beef.

“We’re working to bring closer integration of our promotion of New Zealand meat with commercial processor and exporters. This collective strength can then be used to benefit farmers by improving access to markets and creating a preference for New Zealand beef and lamb.”

A key aspect of the Strategic Plan is the development of an industry strategy.

“Meat & Wool New Zealand is committed to leading an industry strategy that identified high level opportunities and challenges for the sector and examines what can be done at an industry level to address these. We believe this is important to help us better engage with government and to help guide a range of activity such as research and development needs and our collective approach to developing markets for our products.”

Dr Champion says Meat & Wool New Zealand will continue to provide independent analysis and advice to assist farmers in their decision making, and influence regulators and decision-makers on and offshore in ways that are positive for New Zealand’s sheep and beef farmers.

“We will be working to achieve more centralised data and information collection and new distribution channels using cost effective technologies to ensure farmers and other stakeholders have better access to critical information.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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