More success stories from the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) scheme are being celebrated by the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy, with five major projects announcing breakthroughs this month.
He points to the New Zealand Sheep Industry Transformation Project, which has “made great progress with the new premium ‘Silere’ brand to lift Merino meat into a luxury food,” says the Minister. “It was a major hit at the Waiheke Island Yacht Club pop-up restaurant in San Francisco during the America’s Cup with over 5,000 meals sold in just 12 weeks.”
Silver Fern Farms has also unveiled a new quality grading system for beef which will have benefits for the wider industry, thanks to PGP funding, Guy says. “The FarmIQ scheme has used 13,70 taste testers and farmers will begin receiving detailed reports on how their beef rates, according to a quality criteria.”
The Minister also makes mention of the dairy industry’s ‘Transforming the Dairy Value Chain’, which is helping to develop patented technology for developing frozen mozzarella cheese in one day rather than the previous two months. Last week, Fonterra announced a new $72 million investment into its Clandeboye plant near Timaru to expand production of this cheese.
It has also helped Dairy NZ and Rezare Systems, with support from Beef + Lamb NZ to develop the ‘Pasture Growth Forecaster’ – an online tool to predict pasture growth up to 15 days and two months ahead, which will be a great tool for farmers, he says.
In addition, the Precision Seafood Harvesting Programme unveiled a revolutionary new harvesting system, aiming to target fish by size and species, allowing smaller and non-targeted fish to escape.
“It is very important for New Zealand’s primary industries to move beyond just producing commodities and into value-added, high quality niche products. All of these products are examples of this in action.”
In total the PGP is made up of 16 projects with $684 million in funding committed from both industry and Government. The projects aim to boost productivity and innovation across the primary industries, including the fishing, forestry, red meat, honey and dairy sectors.
“The potential benefit to the wider economy from these programmes is estimated at around $7 billion a year from 2025. It will play a major part in supporting the Government’s goal of doubling primary sector exports by 2025,” says Guy.