The meat industry establishment was out in force in Wellington last night at the annual Meat Industry Association cocktail party.
Representatives from meat companies, industry organisations like Beef + Lamb NZ, Deer Industry New Zealand and Federated Farmers mingled with those from service organisations like bankers, shippers, insurance companies and consultants, MPs, government officials and diplomatic representatives from many of Wellington’s embassies and media.
Speaking at the well attended event, a networking highlight in Wellington’s primary sector calendar, MIA chairman Bill Falconer reiterated that the 2010 Red Meat Sector Strategy was not a blueprint but a guide for reform and said that things are now beginning to happen regarding the sector strategy recommendations, including early results from the four wholly meat industry Primary Growth Partnership projects, which are all multi-year projects.
Relating to the current discussions about industry structure, he commented that volatility in the sector is nothing new and that the situation for selling in-market generally is as complex as procurement is in New Zealand.
Falconer noted changes in New Zealand’s export markets, with China now being the largest market for New Zealand sheepmeat in volume terms, an increasingly important market for beef and a major market for a wide range of co-products.
Thanking Ministry of Primary Industries officials for their work on resolving the recent export certification issue with that market, he said there was general industry relief that the export trade to China was underway again. But, there are other markets which also have trade access issues, such as Indonesia, on which industry and government officials are keeping a watchful eye, he said.