Red Meat Strategy Coordinating Group Appointed

NEW ZEALAND - Following widespread support for the themes and direction of the recently released Red Meat Sector Strategy (RMSS), the focus has now moved to implementation and adoption of the plan to secure the long-term profitability of the sheep and beef sector.
calendar icon 6 July 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

To support the strategy, a newly appointed Red Meat Sector Strategy Coordinating Group (SCG) has been formed, which will draw from the Meat Industry Association, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry plus two independent members.

The Chairmen of MIA and B+LNZ, Bill Falconer and Mike Petersen (respectively) and the chief executives, Tim Ritchie (MIA) and Scott Champion (B+LNZ) will be included in the group, demonstrating an ongoing commitment from the two organisations that initiated the RMSS from both sides of the farm gate. The first task for the group will be to identify two independent members who can bring complementary skills to support the efforts of the SCG.

Mr Petersen said there had been a positive response to the strategy since its release in May. He added that it was important for sheep and beef farmers and the wider industry to look at their own business alongside the themes in the strategy, and adopt better practices to improve their profitability and ultimately the performance of the sector as a whole.

“The strategy is clear about where the gains for our sector can be made. The size of the prize is significant, and if collectively we take action the report indicates that we could add another $3.4 billion or $420 per ha farmed in real terms to the sector by 2025. However while some actions are for individual participants in the sector to consider, there are a range of industry-wide actions that the SCG will be working to promote.”

The Red Meat Sector Strategy will be the main focus this year of the annual round of farmer meetings that Beef + Lamb New Zealand carries out in its six regional electorates.

“All sheep and beef farmers are now receiving information about the Red Meat Sector Strategy, along with a list of the meetings in their region. We are encouraging them to attend to learn more about how they can be more profitable by following recommendations in the strategy.”

Mr Falconer said meat processors and exporters were also being encouraged to look at the actions they could implement to realise the gains outlined in the strategy, and to identify where it may be appropriate to work alongside others.

The role of the SCG was foreshadowed within the strategy and is now confirmed as promoting, advising, monitoring and reporting on its implementation. The SCG will be actively promoting and working to profile the activities that can secure improved profitability for all participants in the red meat sector.

One of the first actions for the SCG will be to categorise the strategy recommendations and suggest which should be highlighted in the work agenda of the MIA and B+LNZ, and where others will be required to support the process also.

Monitoring and measuring gains with robust metrics and reporting back to the wider sector is a key role for the SCG so that the progress of implementation can be monitored.

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